Closed for approximately two and a half hours on Friday morning, many workers and customers could not believe Wal-Mart of Huntsville was temporarily shut down.
With the doors locked to the public from 8 to 10:30 a.m., Wal-Mart managers told customers they could not enter the store due to a broken water pipe inside the store.
“We were notified by this city sometime early this morning that we needed to close the store,” OTC Manager Duane Clark. “There is a water pipe inside the store that is in need of repair.”
While a small line of cars trailed the front of the building, the usually packed parking lot was sparse with vehicles due to the city health code stating businesses can not legally operate with out running utilities.
“We are not allowed to open the doors until the water line gets repaired,” Clark said. “We must have running utilities such as bathrooms and water fountains.”
As workers arrived for the beginning of their shifts, many stood at the doors, reading the posted signs and wondering if they had to go into work.
“I just got here and I am not too sure what is going to happen today,” said Sheila Martin, Wal-Mart worker, recently from New Orleans. “I worked last night and there were no problems. This must have happened over night.”
Workers were not the only one’s waiting to get in the store. Many shoppers sat in their cars and waited for the doors to open.
“I usually wouldn’t wait for a store to open,” said SHSU senior, Kim Wood. “If they wouldn’t have opened the doors soon, I would have just gone to Walgreen’s or CVS.”
While the store manager is not allowed to comment to the media, Wal-Mart’s media line reinstated an issue with a water pipe and the need to have it fixed was the first order of business for the day.
“We are not sure how much revenue we lost for the temporary closing,” said Jami Arms, a member of the Wal-Mart Media Department. “But the safety and security of our customers is our number one priority.”