Power outage interrupts downtown lunches
By Paul Huggins
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A truck hit a utility pole and knocked out power to about 2,000 Decatur Utilities customers at about lunchtime Thursday.
The outage nearly brought The Brick Deli to a standstill at its peak business hour.
"We were completely full when it went down," said Lisa Champlin, Brick co-owner. "The people who already had a sandwich in the steamer got their food, but everyone else had to drink tea and just wait it out."
DU General Manager Stanley Keenum said a truck struck the pole that contains a relay switch on East Moulton Street near the railroad tracks, and the impact damaged the switch. This caused it to cut power to three substations: Central, Boys and Girls Club and West Town. Central serves downtown, and the other substations mostly serve residential customers.
The outage occurred at about 11:45. DU crews repaired the switch and restored power in about 30 minutes, Keenum said.
Champlin said most of the customers waited for awhile, but eventually left. Not only could the restaurant not steam sandwiches, it couldn't operate the drink dispenser or charge credit cards electronically.
In an unrelated incident, an oil circuit breaker blew up on a Johnston Street Southeast utility pole at about 3 p.m.
It did not cause any power outages, but it did rain down hot debris on Teresa Glossner's vehicle, leaving a black singe mark under her rear window.
DU crews said often a small animal bumps into the circuit to knock it out, but they did not find a dead animal under the pole.
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