| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Problems wash out Light Up Night

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 1:31 a.m.

KITTANNING — Friday's water alert caused a major inconvenience to area residents and businesses and even managed to douse the town's Light Up Night.

As Christmas music spilled out onto Market Street from Dizzy Lizzie's restaurant Friday afternoon, owner Fred Bonello made calls on his cell phone making arrangements for ice to be brought in from outlying areas to serve customers for the evening's event.

His wife, Debbie, said they had been using bottled water to make coffee and had been using plastic eating utensils and paper products.

“We have bins everywhere in the kitchen to store the dirty dishes (used before the alert went out) because we can't wash them in the water,” she said.

Bonello said that in spite of the situation, the restaurant was still going to serve its buffalo wings that night.

But that was before the health department made them close up business because the public restrooms couldn't function and Kittanning Borough was declared to be in a state of emergency.

That information could not be confirmed by the end of the day Friday and a spokesman for Pennsylvania American Water said the cause is still under investigation.

“This is the biggest night of the year for businesses in downtown Kittanning,” said Fred Bonello. “I have great people who have gone out of their way to help.”

He ended up letting his staff feast on wings before letting them go home early on a night that was supposed to be one of their busiest.

Debbie Bonello, who owns Creative Visions beauty salon on Jefferson Street, said she didn't even hear about the water warning until around 1 p.m.

After she heard the news she said she had to rinse a customer's hair with bottled water. She also said her hands felt irritated and had a burning sensation.

Kris Ridenour, a pharmacist at Klingensmith's Drugstore on Market Street, said they always use distilled water when filling out prescriptions and had plenty of reserves.

“It could be a lot worse,” she said.

But customers weren't very happy at Sprankles Market on North McKean Street when they discovered all the bottled water had sold out.

Assistant manager Melissa Booher said all the water, other than the flavored kind, had sold out by 1 p.m.

She said the Armstrong County Health Center called and ordered 20 cases of bottled water and 20 cases of gallon water jugs before the store knew about the water situation.

“Then everyone started coming in and filling up their carts,” she said. “People are pretty mad when they find out we have no more water.”

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Armstrong

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Paradise Park Rib Fest reviving legendary stage in Cowansville
  3. Natural soaps, spinning demo among attractions at Fort Armstrong Folk Festival
  4. Kittanning road work a dusty backdrop to sidewalk sales, festival
  5. West Kittanning church marks 100 years of ups and downs
  6. Armstrong reaches out for opinions about how to use closed schools
  7. 44th Folk Festival off to bustling start in Kittanning
  8. Rural Valley judge hanging up robes after 34 years on the bench
  9. Ownerless emu finds ‘buddy’ at new Greensburg home
  10. Plea withdrawals made harder by Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  11. South Buffalo airport gets Armstrong County funding for study