Area businesses struggle with water main break

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Day two of the boil water advisory and it's already taking a toll on area businesses. Many restaurants were closed Tuesday because they did not want to risk getting patrons sick.

More than 1,500 businesses in downtown Louisville are struggling to cope with the lack of safe drinking water in the aftermath of Monday's massive water main rupture at UofL. At Zoes Kitchen in downtown Louisville, business is anything but usual.

"Got a phone call last night that the water main broke and we were affected," said Matthew Hibbitt, the manager at Zoes Kitchen.

Without normal running water, Zoes Kitchen wasn't open for business Tuesday.

"Our motto here is fast and fresh," said Hibbitt. "As long as we are closed today (Tuesday), we'll lose $2,000 in sales today (Tuesday). If we are closed tomorrow (Wednesday) it could hurt us even more."

The boil water advisory from Monday's water main break on UofL's campus has forced several area businesses to close or shift their hours. DOA managers told WAVE 3 they opened late Tuesday. Starbucks near the downtown convention center was closed.

The boundaries for the advisory are the Ohio River to the North, Watterson Expressway to the South, 9th Street to the West and Bardstown-Baxter Avenue to the East. That left many who work in the area wondering what to do for lunch.

"I'll probably go back home, get something to eat," said Rakesh Davoor.

Louisville's health department is also sending inspectors into restaurants to make sure they are aware of the boil advisory.

"The main thing we are telling restaurants is the soda machines use water from the tap," said Scott Nethery, an environmental health specialist with Metro Public Health and Wellness. "We are advising them not to use soda machines. Use two liters or canned drinks. Buy bagged ice."

It's not just restaurants making changes.

"It's sort of been a plan on my mind since I do prepare the meals," said Frankie Smith, the cook manager at Aunt GiGi's Little Jewels daycare.

The little ones at Aunt GiGi's daycare are also dealing with the boil advisory. Kids are drinking bottled water and workers are taking extra precautions to make meals.

"I usually boil my water first before I prepare my meals for the children," said Smith.

The boil water advisory is expected to last until at least 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Metro Health and Wellness tells WAVE 3 they really have not had any type of problems with restaurants implementing the requirements for the boil water advisory.

Remember you should still bring all water used for cooking and drinking to a boil for at least three minutes and dump ice from your dispenser.

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