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Meaford shuts down water system after fire at auto garage

Residents are being asked to conserve water, schools have been closed for the day

A massive fire that destroyed Johnny B's auto shop last night has taken its toll on the municipal water system as well. 

This morning (May 26) the municipality announced that Meaford's water system had been shut down, and residents were asked to conserve water, using only what is absolutely necessary. 

"The municipality’s water system has been temporarily shut down to ensure that no by-products of the fire at 452 Sykes St. N enter the water system,” stated a news release from the municipality.

Georgian Bay Community School is closed today and daycares have also announced they will be closed today. The Meaford Public Library announced its closure for the day, as did several local businesses.

Around 7 p.m. last night (May 25) Johnny B's started burning and the black smoke and flames could be seen for several kilometres in all directions. Multiple fire departments responded to the call, and residents could hear explosions several blocks away from the fire. 

Police, Grey County Paramedics and firefighters from Meaford, The Blue Mountains and the Inter-Township Fire Department were all on scene. Highway 26 remains closed in the area, and all traffic is being diverted away from the site. 

Meaford residents are being told by town hall to avoid drinking municipal water until further notice and to limit other use of the water as much as possible. If the current supply runs dry, water main breaks may occur as a result, so the municipality has asked residents to take the following actions: 

  • Do not take baths. Take short showers only if absolutely necessary;
  • Do not wash vehicles, water lawns or gardens, fill pools or run water features;
  • Do not let your water run while brushing your teeth;
  • Do not use the dishwasher or clothes washer unless absolutely necessary.

The municipality said it expects to know more information by lunchtime on May 26 and will provide an update at that time. The municipality is working to arrange alternative water supplies and will provide additional information once it is available.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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