E. coli water warning hits Long Beach during busy pride weekend

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LONG BEACH -

The City of Long Beach remains under a boil-water warning because E. coli was detected in its water supply, and it comes during the city's annual pride festival weekend -- one of its biggest events at the beach.

Residents have been told not to use their water for drinking, cooking or brushing their teeth without first boiling it. Long Beach received another shipment of water from the state early Saturday morning -- a total of 38,000 bottles -- which are available for residents to pick up in front of City Hall. But it's for residents only, and officials are checking IDs.

 
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City Council President Anthony Eramo says crews are currently working to flush out the entire water system. More chlorine was also added.

So far there have been no reports of any illnesses from the contamination. City officials attribute that to the quick action they took with the help of Nassau County.

But it comes as Long Beach is expected to be packed this weekend for the annual Pride on the Beach festival under sunny skies and warm temperatures.

Event organizer David Kilmnick says every precaution is being taken to make sure nobody drinks tainted water as pride festivities get underway.

"The water situation does not impact pride events and pride activities," Kilmnick says. "We are just going to make sure we have lots of bottled water for folks on the boardwalk."

Some restaurants in town remain open for business. But La Bottega on Park Avenue is keeping its doors shut during what should have been a busy weekend.

"Staying open is kind of hard. It's hard to find water, and it's kind of dangerous, too," says Vito DePetro, owner of La Bottega. "We're going to lose a lot of money, too."

Residents say they're encouraged that the city is taking action to distribute water and trying to fix the problem. However, some are expressing frustration -- especially since it comes after taxes in Long Beach were just increased by 8 percent.

"It's pretty terrible. In this day and age how do they get in a situation where water is not clean? I don't understand it," says Long Beach resident Andrew Miller.

Officials say they have not yet pinpointed the cause of the contamination. They are hoping the city's water will once again be safe to drink as early as Sunday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that the state is prepared to send Long Beach more bottled water as needed, and says the state health commissioner has been in regular contact with local officials about the matter.

"Nothing is more important than the health and safety of New Yorkers and we will continue to coordinate closely with local officials and provide any resources necessary until this situation is fully resolved," Cuomo said.

Public officials say new water samples are being tested.

MORE COVERAGE: Pride on the Beach festivities kick off this weekend in Long Beach 
Long Beach E. coli, boil water alert create bottled water frenzy 
Officials: E. coli strain detected in Long Beach water supply 

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