DC Suburb Water Main Fails in Worst Heat Wave of 2013

Nearly a quarter-million people without water as the most intense heat has yet to hit the East.
2:17 | 07/17/13

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Transcript for DC Suburb Water Main Fails in Worst Heat Wave of 2013
dangerous heat wave smothering the northeast. And the water emergency affecting thousands outside of washington. The spigots are running dry right now, creating a real crisis. Jim avila is live in prince georges county, maryland. Reporter: We're waking up hot and thirsty in the d.C. Suburbs. This store in the middle of it has sold five-times the normal supply of water on a normal day, because authorities are warning people, beginning this afternoon, when they turn their water spigots, nothing will come out. No relief. Water in any form, flying off the shelves. As in the middle of a triple-digit heat wave, the 54-inch water main for prince georges county, maryland, a washington, d.C. Suburb, failed. Leaving 200,000 residents bone-dry starting today, with not a drop to drink from the tap until sunday. I cannot fathom what five days would be like without water. Reporter: Residents here getting creative. Filling recycling cans, sportible pools. We use it for swimming. However, we're going to have to make the best of of it. Reporter: They spend the night filling water bottles for her family. Kids enjoying the calm before the storm. But water pressure is already low. Ten minutes ago, it was coming out more than this. And to be quite honest, it doesn't smell good. Reporter: It couldn't be any worse time to lose water. Temperatures across the country, an average ten degrees hotter than normal. And along the east coast, reaching dangerous degrees. This is serious. And you do need to have a plan in action. Don't be reluctant to call on neighbors and friends to make sure you have a backup plan. Reporter: Cooling centers opened in boston, new york, philadelphia, the nation's capital and as far west as chicago. A heat wave coupled with humidity, made more dangerous by the fact that temperatures are not dropping much overnight. People are already stocking up now for their water. You can see them in line at this store. The water main itself has been turned off. But there's enough supply to last for another 12 hours. But around noon, right in the heat of the day, they'll turn the spigot and nothing will come out.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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