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Laundromats and car washes were ordered to close Sunday after Mayor John Cook declared the city was in a water emergency.
According to El Paso Water Utilities officials, 10 of 70 water reservoirs in the city are low or nearly empty, making the conservation of water necessary.
But the closing of businesses was not well received by the general manager of Hercules Car Wash and Laundroneat at 4405 Hercules Drive in the Northeast.
He said he had to close both businesses Sunday afternoon until further notice.
The manager declined to disclose his name, saying he feared retaliation from water officials. He said he was threatened with a fine by the person sent out to ask him to close.
He said Sundays are a busy day for the laundromat, but yesterday he had to tell his customers to leave.
“Customers were here when (water officials) came and they were outraged by what they were hearing,” he said.
He said a lot of his customers try to get their clothes ready for the week, while the busiest days for the car wash are those after rainy or snowy days.
“The impact was great because we had to shut down,” he said.
Tillie Propst, manager of four 24-Hour Lone Star Laundry facilities in El Paso, said the top-loading washing machines at all locations were shut down right after El Paso Water Utilities requested that businesses conserve water.