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Americus boil water advisory shuts down restaurants

Video from WALB
Updated: May. 6, 2022 at 8:35 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Most restaurants in Americus have been shut down for three straight days because of an ongoing boil water advisory.

An open-water vessel in city water plant’s water storage prompted concerns for public health. The Department of Public Health decided to shut down most of the city’s restaurants.

Americus Mayor Lee Kinnamon broke down how they will test the water.

”After that dive is made the water is then tested for a Bac-t, bacteria testing to make sure it’s not contaminated and that test requires a 24 hour investigation period. And so once that 24 hours has elapsed, there’s 24 hours of elapse and then we will either get a positive or negative result,” said Kinnamon.

Ever since that water boil advisory went out on Wednesday afternoon, some of the restaurants in Americus have signs posted on their window. Saying “temporarily closed until further notice.”

This could have a major impact on some of their restaurants.

“We also are working with the United Way of Southwest Georgia to see if there is any type of emergency reinforces that we could help the service providers. Those waitresses, those servers that are coming to work every day and need to buy groceries for their families so we’re trying to figure out some unique financial resources for them” said Amber Batchelor, CEO and president of Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.

That’s one of the concerns of restaurant owners.

Some of their employees are surviving off weekly checks.

Batchelor is also trying to help those businesses that lost some funds.

“We’re going to work with them in a series of business preparedness classes and workshops to figure out some response whether that’s reaching out to their liability companies to file a claim or other avenues to see if they could recoup some of those lost wages” said Batchelor.

On Friday afternoon, Batchelor said South Georgia Technical college provided a flatbed truck full of water to pass out to businesses in need.

Kinnamon said there are only six restaurants that are open because they have approved emergency operation plans.

He stated that this water boil advisory is rare in the city.

“The vessel that was affected, it contains water that goes to all customers. So that’s why it’s a city wide event. There will be a thorough investigation into why this occurred and what the steps could be taken to prevent this from happening,” said Kinnamon.

Kinnamon said test results should be ready by 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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