The water-main break at Chelten and Pulaski avenues in Germantown has affected nearby businesses by stopping phone service, closing off the flow of traffic and briefly turning off the water supply.
Some businesses owners said Tuesday that they are losing customers who were not prepared for non-functioning credit cards machines and phone service since the Friday afternoon trouble.
“Over the weekend, the phone lines were out, and they still are,” said Hao Low, cashier at House of Jin, located at 234 W. Chelten Ave. “They estimated it will be fixed by Thursday, but who knows. Everyone is waiting around. We can’t take delivery orders.”
Hao also said that the road was closed over the weekend, and that anyone who tried to get through had to make a U-turn and find another way around the intersection.
Pulaski Avenue is closed-off from Chelten to Rittenhouse Street, with orange cones marking a narrow passageway for cars to use while crews continue to work.
Over the weekend, the Chelten Station had no phone service and customers weren’t able to pay with credit cards.
However, “those services are up and running again,” said SEPTA spokeswoman Kristen Geiger said Tuesday.
Traffic and other woes
Park Manor Delicatessen, located on the corner of Chelten where the break took place, has had similar problems.
One regular lunch customer, who works at the nearby First Unitarian Church, couldn’t use her credit card to pay for her purchase.
“Luckily, my friend helped me out and paid for lunch,” said Lynn Trimborn, neighborhood nurse at the Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program.
Trimborn’s friend, Dolores Taylor, said it’s difficult for the restaurant to operate without phone service because they have a large take-out order business.
Family Care Cleaner, located a few businesses down from the intersection, said the initial break caused the water to shut off. Now, owner Paul Paik has resorted to using an old-fashioned credit card slider, or a “knuckle buster,” which takes a hard copy of the card to keep on file.
Jeff Johnson, a “jack-of-all-trades” at Delmar Bar and Lounge, located at 304 W. Chelten Ave., said the Philadelphia Streets Department has been working all day to repave the street. He also noted that Verizon was on the scene all day, and says the Verizon crew was working until 1 a.m. Tuesday.
“It was a certified mess out there on Friday,” said Johnson. “The street has been closed for three days. I think it was an old line that collapsed because of the heavy weight of trucks that pass through, and unseasonable weather.”
Many neighbors, however, are getting back to normal.
Those at state Sen. Shirley M. Kitchen’s campaign office, located at 310 W. Chelten Ave., reported that everything is working fine.
“The water was shut off when it first happened on Friday,” said Dwayne Lilley, campaign manager for Kitchen, “and the phone lines were out all weekend, but now they’re back on.”