MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We’re just one day away from the Liberty Bowl and people visiting the city, and in the hospitality industry, are already feeling the effects of the water issue.
This past weekend’s freezing temperatures have not only impacted people living in the city of Memphis but people visiting the city, as well. A few tourists say their welcome was everything but warm.
“I guess I didn’t anticipate having issues other than maybe some ice or something to deal with,” said Erin Harvey.
She said she and her son drove 14 hours from Orlando, Florida to visit Memphis. She says when she arrived at her hotel last night, she was expecting to finally escape the cold, but that’s not what happened.
“We got in pretty late. So, it was a long drive. They said, ‘Well you might want to check and see if you want to stay here’. So, when we went to the front desk, they said they had no heat and no running water,” she said.
Harvey says she was eventually able to find another hotel with running water.
MLGW President Doug McGowan confirms several hotels in the downtown area are also experiencing water issues due to water main breaks occurring across Shelby County. He says they have crews working nonstop to restore water to as many people as possible.
This comes as thousands of people come to Memphis for the Autozone Liberty Bowl game.
One family says they’re in town to watch the Grizzlies take on the Phoenix Suns at the FedEx forum, and they were meant with similar issues.
“We called the hotel, and they expressed kind of the same issues – water pressure, boil water notice,” said Cheryl Polk. “That we could cancel if we wanted to but of course, we were halfway here.”
Despite the inconveniences, tourists I spoke to say they’re not going to let a lack of water cause them to have a lack of fun.
“It’s just an experience. So, you know you just have to know how to overcome it,” Eddie Polk said. “Brushing your teeth with a bottle of water is not that difficult.”
Ben Draper, visiting from Kansas City, agreed.
“We’re going to have a great time. Me and my compadres over we’re going to tear this town up. We’re going to make Memphis us,” he said.