Outage leaves some in the dark

Isolated businesses, residences affected by power failure

Since Thomas Edison lit the first light bulb in 1879, people have become very dependent on electricity.

So when the power went out Friday morning in Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center and Central Park Plaza, commerce froze.

Wal-Mart was dark for 45 minutes. The cash registers did--n't work. No sales could be made,

and customers were asked to leave until power returned, manager Mark Meade said.

When asked how much business was lost in those 45 minutes, Meade said he couldn't even guess.

Yampa Valley Electric Ass--ociation received the first of many phone calls at about 9:30 a.m. Friday. A contractor working on the Sundance Creek condominium complex east of McDonald's dug into a cable affecting the power supply for the surrounding neighborhood, YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said.

Allison Plean, volunteer coordinator at Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, saw the explosion out of the corner of her eye from her office across the street. She thought lightning had struck.

The power was out for most of the morning in Central Park Plaza, Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center, the Pine Grove Apartments and the senior citizen apartments on Rolling Stone Road.

Initially, the Egg & I Rest--aurant lost power in the dining room but still had power in the kitchen. Employees there hand-wrote receipts for customers while computers were down. Then, at 11:30 a.m., the power shut off completely, manager Erin Poynter said. The restaurant had to close for an hour until power returned.

To return power to the affected businesses and apartments, YVEA employees rerouted several circuits. Repairs to the torn cable were made Friday afternoon.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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