'I don't think this is rocket science': Mayor Kenney defends Philadelphia water response that sparked panic

Shelves were left empty as Philadelphia residents fled to grocery stores to wait in endless lines for bottled water after news of a chemical spill broke over the weekend.

Mayor Jim Kenney was confronted by local reporters Tuesday after the city sent out several contradictory advisories, leaving residents confused and concerned about the city's water quality.

Although he admitted to the chemical spill being a "scary" situation, the mayor said he does not regret the city's response.

"When we weren’t sure, we had to give people some advisory, so people would be safe," he said. "If we had held onto the information you would be asking me why we didn’t say anything."

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In response to panic-buying across Philadelphia and beyond, Kenney said the city didn't set up a water distribution center because they didn't think there would be a run on bottled water.

"Look we had a run on toilet paper during Covid that didn’t make sense either, and people buy 10 cases of water is pretty selfish," he said.

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The mayor went on to confirm that the water supply is safe, and that the bottled-water advisory was merely a suggestion made out of an abundance of safety.

"I don't think this is rocket science here," the mayor said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Philadelphia officials say tap water is safe to drink until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday as testing continues.