Charleston Business Closing Due to Financial Loss During Water Crisis

By: Anna Baxter; Jeremy Edwards Email
By: Anna Baxter; Jeremy Edwards Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A business in downtown Charleston is closing up shop after the owner says he can't recover financially from the recent water crisis.

Thelma Fay's Cafe along Washington Street east will close its doors on Thursday.

"Sadly we have been unable to recover our losses during the water crisis and unexpected weather conditions," the company posted on its Twitter account Tuesday.

The owner tells he's already let two of his employees go. Right now, he has one employee left that will work until Thursday.

On January 9, a "do not use" water order was issued after a chemical leak at Freedom Industries in Charleston. The ban affected 300,000 people in nine counties. The ban lasted several days.

When the all clear was given, business owners had to flush their water lines and then get inspected by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department before they could reopen. Then, many customers weren't confident in drinking water so many businesses were forced to use bottled water for food prep and drinking.

The owner of Thelma Fay's Cafe says he's not the only business owner feeling the affects of the water crisis.

The Charleston Visitor's Bureau has reported that businesses in Charleston lost millions of dollars during the water emergency. In response, the agency launched a recovery campaign through video testimonials.

Every week they're having a different business owner explain how they dealt with the crisis and what they're still doing to keep customers at ease, including continuing to use bottled water.

The videos are posted on the CVB's website. If you would like to watch them, click on the link to the right of this article.

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