Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 11, 2013

Equipment failure blamed for Traverse City power outage

TRAVERSE CITY — Employees at Wendy’s Hamburgers on Division Street played Frisbee in the parking lot while waiting for the power to return.

“We’ll hang out for awhile and see if we get our power back,” general co-manager Debbie Esckelson said Friday as she waited in the dark inside.

The power outage meant the fast food restaurant had to turn customers away; seven employees had little to do but wait.

“It’s pricey,” Esckelson said.

A Traverse City Light & Power equipment failure was blamed for the power outage that lasted from 10:25 a.m. to 11:06 a.m. Power darkened the businesses and homes of 173 customers from 14th Street to South Airport Road, said Jessica Wheaton, the utility’s marketing and community relations coordinator.

The Fox Grand Traverse automotive group was the last to get the power on, she said.

A utility pole with the defective switch stood right in front of the dealership. The dealership’s power went back on at 11:30 a.m.

Steve Winters, general manager of Fox Grand Traverse, said the utility did an “awesome job.”

“It’s the fastest I’ve ever seen Light & Power respond,” Winters said. “I’d be more than happy to send them a thank you card.”

Winters said the dealership had emergency lights so they didn’t lose customers. Meijer relied on its emergency generator during the half-hour outage, said Manager John Spaulding.

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