WAMU 88.5 : News

National Harbor Businesses Spin Up After Water Emergency

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Businesses at National Harbor in Maryland are trying to get back on track after the water outage that wasn't.
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Businesses at National Harbor in Maryland are trying to get back on track after the water outage that wasn't.

It turns out that residents in parts of southern Prince George's County won't lose water service after all, but mandatory water restrictions remain in place. Businesses in Maryland's National Harbor are getting things back on track sooner than they expected.

Hotels are closed, storefronts are dark and the streets are silent but for the rumble of the engines TV news trucks. National Harbor management says the resort should reopen tomorrow.

"My cousin came to visit from South Korea and we were going to eat dinner with him, but it turns out all the restaurants are closed," says Julie Kim.

Some businesses are reopening on Wednesday night.

"We had a big class that's scheduled on the waterfront every Wednesday night at 7 p.m., and we were told yesterday that that was cancelled," says Will Bailey, the owner of a fitness center. "Today they asked us to come out and do the class, so we'll be here, even if we have smaller than usual participants out here."

Valerie Irick, the manager of an apparel store, thinks it will take a few days to get back to normal.

"A lot of people that live out here went to stay at different hotels and different areas off the harbor because they said the water would be out for at least five days, so everybody prepared themselves for this," Irick says.

In an interview with WAMU, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown likened the water scare to the annual calls for businesses in Ocean City, Md., to shutter their doors in advance of a hurricane that never comes. Still, some relief may be in the works.

"I am very sympathetic by the loss of revenue. That has impact not only on those businesses and clients and consumers, but all of Maryland," Brown said.

National Harbor first prepared for a 3-day shutdown, but soon received the welcome news that the WSSC was able to repair a major pipe without having to shutdown service entirely. The major hotels had to relocate their guests and send their employees home, but are now in the process of calling them back.

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