Local restaurants in a financial bind due to contaminated water
SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash.- Restaurants and hotels in Snoqualmie Pass are on their second day of closure, and restaurant owner Dan Wood isn't sure how many more closed days the business can handle.
"I have nothing coming in, and everything is going out. Regardless I still have to pay my rent," said Wood, Owner of Aardvark Express.
Wood has owned Aardvark Express for eight years now and says this advisory shutdown is a first for him.
"I've never experienced anything like this before, not this long. I've experienced something like one or two days," said Wood.
Emergency management issued a boiling water advisory due to a unknown leak that Snoqualmie Pass Water System found earlier this week.
"The good thing is where the leak was, its feeding an area that doesn't have any houses on it, the bad thing is, if you have a rupture in your system, you have to chlorinate this whole system and then test it to make sure there is no bacteria," said Darren Higashiyama, Operations Management at Kittitas County Emergency Management.
This means restaurants and hotels in Snoqualmie Pass aren't allowed to serve food or house guests until the advisory is removed, and for small business owners, each day costs them.
"I'm okay for about three days. Other than that thank goodness that I have credit cards," said Wood.
Operations management says the process it takes to to chlorinate the water, flush the system, and do more testing to make sure the water is safe, will take about a week.
"The economic impact is huge, but the department of health cannot let them open it because that can be catastrophic to hundreds of people," said Higashiyama.
For now, locals who live in the area are warned not to use their shower until the water is approved, and are required to boil their water for at least one minute before using. Snoqualmie Pass Fire Department has set up a water distribution center for locals to have access to drinkable water.