Downtown businesses reacting to water main break

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 12/13/2013 12:18 pm Published: 12/13/2013 11:29 am

Some downtown business owners lost business and some had to get resourceful after a water main break prevented them from opening Friday and shut off the water.


Inside Casa Laredo on West Fourth Street and Cheyenne Avenue, chairs were empty without customers all day.


“Today you can see it’s bad news,” owner Guillermo Rojaz told FOX23. “Friday the 13th is really bad for us.”


Rojaz says Fridays are usually one of his busiest days, but not today.


He tells FOX23 he got a call from the building engineer letting him know he’d be shut down because of flooding.


“[The loss] is considerable because it is Friday, and there are games, indoor soccer games at the convention center,” he explained. “You know Friday night for any restaurant is a big night.”


Next door at The Irving Building, Superintendent Jerome Garvin says he’s fortunate that his basement is not flooding. But upstairs, there’s an 18-room rooming house, and 18 residents without water.


“It’s hurting us bad,” he said.


He told us he’d already stocked up on drinking water, but there are those other things you need water for that you might originally think of when it gets shut off.


“Our bathrooms are getting backed up and they’ve got to be able to use the bathrooms down here, we’ve got to have water.”


Even as light rain fell from the sky and water gushed from the ground, there wasn’t much around that could be used.


So Garvin got resourceful.


“Their basements flooded, so when they start pumping the water out of that basement, I have 5 5-galoong buckets over here and I’m going to fill up 5 5-gallon buckets of dirty water that I can take up stairs and flush the toilet with,” he told FOX23. “We gotta survive down here, right?”


For Rojaz, that means hoping to make up the business he lost.


“[A] call to my customers, if you don’t come tonight, please come back tomorrow,” he says.


Rojaz says his building engineer told him his business would be shut down for at least 15 hours.

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