Philly Today: What the Hell Is Going on With Our Water?

A bottled-water warning set off hoarding and confusion. Plus: Madonna still loves us, the chocolate-factory explosion, a Cheesesteak Bowl winner, and the great John Fetterman head replacement theory.

[Updated at 5:15 p.m.] In a news conference at 5 p.m. Monday, the city declared tap water safe to drink and bathe in through at least 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and promised further updates as early as the morning. Officials said they did not anticipate the current water crisis to last beyond Thursday, and that they were hopeful that by as early as Wednesday night they could declare that the potential chemical hazard had passed the city. They said they would continue to test regardless and pointed citizens to,, @philadelphiagov, @PhilaOEM and @phillyh2o for the latest.

[Original post] The city saw a run on bottled water yesterday as a ruptured pipe in a chemical plant on the Delaware River spilled a latex emulsion solution. Naturally, Philly citizens did what Philly citizens do best, which was bogart the supply at every Wawa and grocery store in town, which prompted much social media hand-wringing.

Empty shelves after a bottled-water run at a Center City CVS / Photograph by Matt Swartz

Officials insisted the risk was “very low if present at all” and later said tap water would be safe for drinking until midnight Monday.


Madonna Says: All Is Forgiven, Philly

Madonna / Photograph by Ricardo Gomes

When Madonna chose to pass Philly by on her Greatest Hits tour this year, our Victor Fiorillo theorized it was because she was heartily booed here in 2012. Well, time must heal all wounds, because she announced today she was adding a show at the Wells Fargo Center, on Wednesday, December 20th. Tickets go up for sale tomorrow for Citi and Official Fan Club presales and for the general public on Friday at 12 p.m. at Godspeed!

A Terrible Tragedy

The death toll reached seven Sunday in explosion on Friday of a chocolate factory in West Reading as more bodies were recovered. A woman survivor was pulled from the rubble Saturday after working dogs led rescuers close enough to hear her shouts from inside the wreckage. All missing persons are believed to be accounted for; no cause for the explosion is yet known.

Appetite for Destruction

The “professional eater” winner of the Delco Steaks Cheesesteak Bowl on Friday night, 40-year-old Dan Kennedy, managed to bolt down nearly nine foot-long steaks in an overtime(!) win that marked his third consecutive title and belt. The amateur victor, Dan Nawrocki, 38, got through two and three-quarters in the 10-minute time span. Pfft, amateurs.

People Will Believe Just About Anything

Just in case you somehow missed the great John Fetterman Head Replacement/Body Double conspiracy:

By the Numbers

$1 million: Estimated cost to the Central Bucks School District (hey, alma mater!) to have law firm Duane Morris defend it against allegations it’s created a hostile environment for LGBT+ kids. You know what would cost less? Being decent human beings.

7 feet, 9 inches: Height of the new turnstiles SEPTA is installing to try to ward off fare evaders, who’ve cost it an estimated $22.9 million in lost revenue this fiscal year

100 percent: Amount the City of Philadelphia should be embarrassed for tweeting out a photo of this monstrosity for National Cheesesteak Day on Friday. Even if it was a troll. Oh, and Helen Gym comin’ AT Jeff Brown.

And from the Losers-All-Around Sports Desk …

The Women Wildcats’ NCAA wins came to a halt on Friday afternoon, as fourth-seeded Villanova fell to ninth-seeded Miami, 70-65, despite a noble comeback effort. Miami, you’ll recall, previously knocked off first-ranked Indiana. Next year, ’Cats!

The Sixers were in San Francisco to play Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors on Friday. They had no Harden, no McDaniels, no Danuel House, but Joel was in, along with P.J., Toby, Tyrese and De’Anthony. James was wearing a smokin’ pink-and-blue-striped sweater on the bench. The Sixers were up 27-23 at the close of the first quarter, but the Warriors stormed back in the second to lead by as many as seven before Embiid hit a monster three to tie it at 53. At the half: GS up, 55-53. The score stayed close in the third, but the Sixers worked a nine-point lead in the fourth, then let it slip away, then regained it again as Embiid put the team on his back. The Warriors drew it even, alas, 104-104, with five minutes left. And then the Sixers went cold and the Warriors got hot. Final: 120-112. Tough loss.

On Saturday, they faced the Suns in Phoenix. Starters: Joe, Tyrese, Tobias, P.J. and De’Anthony. Sixers were lacking Harden and House; Suns were missing Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton. It stayed close through the first quarter: Suns up, 26-24. In the second quarter, the Sixers fell behind, but Maxey started dropping threes to keep it close. Alaa made a “Denial is not just a river in Egypt” joke on an Embiid block. Love that corny dude! A really sloppy close to the half left the Sixers down, 58-53.

The third quarter brought more slop, lots of Sixers fouls, and an 89-83 deficit at the buzzer. Things didn’t look good for the Sixers, though Tyrese was up to 30 points. And in the final bracket? From bad to worse. Halfway through, the Suns had their largest lead of the game, 100-85. With four minutes left, the Sixers put in the kid crew. Final: 125-105. They play the Nuggets tonight at 9:30.

Orlando City scored twice within the first eight freaking minutes to start off their game against the Union in Chester on Saturday. The Union, who were shorthanded because of the CONCACAF series, came back with one in the first, but despite a healthy seven minutes of stoppage time in the second half, they couldn’t get an equalizer, so that’s where it stayed. Our guys hadn’t lost at home for 24 consecutive games. Bummer.

The starters are set for Thursday’s Phillies season opener in Arlington, Texas: It’ll be the Rangers’ Jacob deGrom vs. our Aaron Nola. Over the weekend, in spring training, the Phils gave one up to the Blue Jays on Friday, 6-3; Trea Turner didn’t play. On Saturday against the Yankees, Trea played but didn’t hit any homers (hey, we’re spoiled now!), so the Phils lost, 8-3. On Sunday, they lost again, 4-2, to the Orioles. They play the Blue Jays again today at 1:07. At least there’s some good news: Trea and his wife are expecting another baby!

The U.S. Men’s National Team faced Grenada on Friday in a CONCACAF League of Nations game and came away with a 7-1 toast of the way-way-smaller nation. They’re in first place in their group and play El Salvador tonight at 7:30.

The Flyers also played.