- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- EXODUS COMES TO SLO?: A Monterey Street water main break on Sept. 21 (above) and a hazardous material removal at the downtown Bath and Body Works on Sept. 23 (below) might have had SLO residents feeling like plagued Egyptians of yore. However, there were natural explanations for both incidents, and both dangers were resolved.
There was no storm cloud of locusts and the frogs and pestilence remained at bay, but this past week saw a pair of events that were as close as San Luis Obispo will likely ever get to Biblical Egypt.
On the afternoon of Sept. 21, a water main on Monterey Street ruptured, causing water to pour out for hours. The break, which closed a one-block stretch of Monterey between California Boulevard and Pepper Street, was reported to the SLOPD around 4:30 p.m., and the water pressure was turned down a few hours later.
All told, a public works crew worked on digging out the cracked pipe, finding the break, and replacing the pipe for roughly 10 hours before regular service was restored at around 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 22.
The rupture affected retail outlets along a three-block stretch of Monterey Street, with many closing shortly after the water started bubbling up.
Just a few days later—early in the morning on Sept. 23—at least three workers in full-body protective suits and ventilation masks were hard at work removing toxic materials from the basement of the Bath and Body Works store at the corner of Chorro and Higuera streets.
- PHOTO BY RHYS HEYDEN
- BATH AND BODY WORKS, SLO:
A Bath and Body Works employee, who asked not to be identified, said mouse droppings—which are considered to be toxic—were recently discovered in the store’s basement, but that the store’s showroom was unaffected.
Bath and Body Works District Manager Kelly Huchthausen referred a call for comment from New Times to the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Media relations staff at that location didn’t return repeated requests for comment.
Workers from a local branch of 1-800-Got-Junk?—a Vancouver-based junk removal service—filled up an entire large truck with contaminated items from the store’s basement. Workers confirmed the presence of mouse droppings, which can carry harmful bacteria and viruses, but said they were able to successfully clean out the basement.