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Businesses in Pendleton experience water issues

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By Matthew Clark
Published Feb. 17, 2016

Tri-County Technical College’s Pendleton campus was closed this morning due to what officials called a “lack of water supply.”

The closure came a day after the town of Pendleton issued a boil water advisory (.tif) for the entire town. In the advisory, Matthew Fleahman, director of public works for the town of Pendleton, said itwas issued “because pressure was lost due to water main breaks on Lebanon Road, Micasa Drive and West Main Street.”

However, Nikesh Amin, manager of The Village Bakery & Cafe, located on East Main Street, said the water pressure was no better this morning. That forced the decision to close the cafe portion of the bakery.

“We definitely lost an entire day of business,” Amin said. “The bakery has also been slow because people assume that we are closed.”

Other business owners said water pressure started to return around noon. Cindy Higgins, co-owner of The Mercantile store on East Queen Street and secretary of the Pendleton Area Business Association, said her business doesn’t rely heavily on water, but she had to find alternatives when she opened today. She said the impact of the water pressure was more at her home in Pendleton.

“It was an inconvenience at home, and I used bottled water to make coffee at the store,” Higgins said.

The town issued a statement via its website at 9 a.m. asking for patience as crews attempted to restore water. The statement said the water issues were due “to several water line breaks and scheduled maintenance to the water tower.” Neither Fleahman nor town manager Steve Miller were available for comment.

Despite getting water pressure restored by late morning, Amin said the bakery ran with a staff of two throughout the day rather than the 10-12 employees that typically work in the establishment. Amin said staff either went home or were called and told not to come in, primarily because the cafe’s closing.

Andrew Temples, owner of 1826 Bistro on the Green, said his restaurant opened during the lunch hour and did not have to use tap water.

“We are able to use just bottled water, and we have enough to cook with,” Temples said.

According to its statement, the Tri-County Technical College campuses in Anderson, Easley and Seneca, along with the Industrial Technology Center were open today and unaffected by the water issues. Both Tri-County and The Village Bakery said they would be operational as usual on Thursday.

“It affected business, and we are going to try to talk to our insurance company and get some coverage. We just hope everything is fixed,” Amin said. “I’m just using it as a day to catch up and make a bunch a stuff … that doesn’t need water. We got lucky that this happened on a Wednesday because if it was on a weekend, it would have just crushed us.”

The boil water advisory was set to expire at 4:15 p.m., today.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-235-5677, ext. 107, or @matthewclark76 on Twitter.

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