A press release said a problem at the Sewerage & Water Board Power Plant caused a power outage and a boil water advisory was issued. It led to #NOLAwater going viral with all sorts of snarky tweets.
We didn’t get the all clear until Monday afternoon. Not what we were expecting utility-wise in our new city.
Good perspective from NewOrleansCityBusiness.com:
It’s easy to sympathize with the frustration of a tourist who’s paying the price to stay at a high-end hotel and told they must use bottled water to brush their teeth. If they were traveling with an infant or someone who’s immunity is compromised, they were advised against bathing or showering.
It’s an experience some might find part of the exotic appeal of third-world travel, but not from an American city considered by many to be a premier tourist destination.
If visitors cannot depend on the most basic of services to be provided, they leave with a tainted impression of not just the city but also of the businesses they encountered during their trip. These businesses, many of them national or global chains, now run the risk of guests associating their bad New Orleans experience with their individual brands. It’s hardly the calling card the city wants to extend to the corporate community.
With five boil water orders and counting since Hurricane Katrina — two within the past six months alone — the likelihood is high that New Orleans will be forced to cope with substandard services for the foreseeable future. Before the next order has to be issued, it is critical that officials mount a response plan to help curb its impact on business.