Winnipeggers rush to buy bottled water after boil advisory issued
WATCH ABOVE: The City of Winnipeg has issued a boil water advisory for the entire city after two clusters tested positive for E Coli. Lorraine Nickel reports.
A boil water advisory issued Tuesday night for the entire city of Winnipeg after E. coli was detected had residents and local businesses running to the store for bottled water.
Across the city, which has a population of roughly 700,000, stores faced a rush of residents looking to fill up on H20.
At the Thorvaldson Care Center, a residential care home for seniors, extra staff was called in to help deliver bottled water to seniors.
“It’s all hands on deck right now,” said Jocelyn Thorvaldson, the personal care home’s administrator. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure our people are safe.”
Staff at the centre, which is home to 65 seniors, are spending the evening boiling water, dumping out any juice made earlier in the day and warning residents.
WATCH: Winnipeg mayor’s office provides update on boil water advisory
The advisory was initially issued for Winnipeg east of the Red River but officials widened it to cover the entire city just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are issuing it citywide,” Mayor Brian Bowman told a news conference. “Hopefully we will find out that these were false positives tomorrow and very soon thereafter we will be able to lift this notice, but we do need to be cautious.”
The precautionary measure left residents quickly filling pots with water to boil to later use for cooking or drinking.
Winnipegger Amy Bain says with four children the advisory is a “huge inconvenience.”
“We use it to drink, wash, bathe,” she said.
Bain said her husband had to go to four stores across south Winnipeg trying to find bottled water.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is advising residents to bring water to a boil for at least a minute before using it to drink, make food or brushing teeth.
Stores like the Shoppers Drug Mart in Osborne Village sold out of water an hour after the advisory was issued. In some cases people were seen leaving stores with four to five cases in their carts.
“You take it for granted,” said resident Doug Stephen. “Especially in a major Canadian city. There’s nothing left inside. It’s concerning.”
On social media people posted pictures to Twitter and Instagram of bare shelves and people boiling water.
*With files from Global Winnipeg’s Tamara Forlanski and Mitch Rosset
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