Restaurants complain of no warning during water advisory

  • Friday, July 11, 2014

The City of Georgetown may have been under a boil water advisory for 24 hours from July 8 to 9, but that didn’t keep the cooks out of the kitchens in Georgetown restaurants.

Several Front Street eateries used a variety of methods to keep serving meals while under the safety advisory.

At the Rice Paddy, owner Nancy Kreidler said water would not be available to customers on the tables, but bottled water would be available upon request.

She said a supply of disposable cups were on hand at the bar area to eliminate the need to wash glasses, and hand sanitizer was available throughout the restaurant so customers and employees could sanitize their hands after washing them with potentially contaminated water.

“I’m trying to secure about 100 pounds of cubed ice from outside the city,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

Roz Wyndham, owner of the Atlantic House Restaurant, said she wasn’t worried about her ice because it comes from Myrtle Beach.

“It would have been nice if someone from the water company had notified people, to my knowledge nothing was sent out through them. Thank goodness for Paige Sawyer, if he hadn’t sent something out we wouldn’t’ have known,” Wyndham said.

Wildfish Grill had a similar complaint.

“Nobody called us or anything,” said manager Alan Lambert. He said a regular customer informed the restaurant of the boil water advisory.

To continue operations, Wildfish Grill had been boiling all of its water before using it, he said.

Despite the complaints of lack of information, City Administrator Chris Carter said the city followed its emergency response plan to get the word out.

“As soon as we found out [about the water main break] we used all the social media available to us, [the Georgetown Times] picked it up pretty quickly, we did a Reverse 911 call at 2:40 [p.m.]. The radio station made an announcement. … We used the media that was available to us, and we’ll use it again when it comes time to lift it.”

The Georgetown Times posted information on the boil water advisory on its website, Facebook and Twitter.

Carter said while the Reverse 911 calling system is efficient, it only applies to landlines.

“A lot of people, since cell phones, don’t have landlines anymore, and our way of getting to people is through 911,” he said.

Residents can register their cell phones to receive CodeRED emergency alerts, the alert system used by the county Emergency Management department, online at http://bit.ly/gcalerts.

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