Pet store could be forced to close after month of frozen pipes
Published Sunday, March 23, 2014 5:20PM CST
Last Updated Monday, March 24, 2014 5:07AM CST
A Winnipeg pet store could soon be closing up shop for good after a month without water.
For 31 days, Tanya Morgan hauled water into Pet Peripherals for fish tanks, to clean animals and cages, and for animals to drink.
"Half of my business was my grooming salon, and without water, I can't groom, so half of my business is gone," said Morgan.
Not only that, since the pipes froze last month, several animals have even died.
"Some green anoles, some firebelly newts, a lot of fish, some mice," said Morgan.
Morgan says the city tried unsuccessfully to thaw the pipes and then said they would have to excavate the street.
But after CTV cameras were at the store Sunday the city dispatched a crew and thawed the frozen pipes.
Still, with bills mounting and a month of lost revenue, Morgan says she may have no choice but to liquidate her stock and close the store anyway.
"I'm at a state where I'm sitting here, watching animals die, and my business close down, and my hands are tied. I have nothing I can do. It's completely out of my control."
Before the water was restored Sunday, customers in the store said they were also frustrated by the situation.
"It's negligent for the City of Winnipeg to be letting this happen and not figuring out another option for her to have running water so that she can care for the animals," said Jessica Hansen.
Jaret Horbatiuk and his partners have successfully thawed pipes in three houses by using a pressure washer to push hot water into the line and said they planned to try it on commercial properties starting Monday.
"This is an idea they're actually using in Grand Forks right now, and we've modified it a little bit to try to work with what we're trying to do here in Winnipeg," he said.
A frustrated Morgan wishes the option had been available to her weeks ago.
"I will start over and try to slowly pay off debts so that I am not personally bankrupt," she said.
She is unsure if she will be able to keep the store open beyond the end of the month.
The city said the store was next on the list to have pipes thawed and the media coverage did not play a role in service being restored Sunday.
- With a report by Ben Miljure