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Zelie loses electricity for several hours Tuesday

March 18, 2014 News Extra

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ZELIENOPLE — Electrical service was out for several hours mid day Tuesday in the Zelienople, Jackson Township and Connoquenessing areas.

Penn Power spokesman Rob Lombardo explained that a logging truck accidentally knocked a tree into a transmission pole. He did not know where the accident happened.

Penn Power customers were without power for a half an hour, including the Seneca Valley School District’s secondary campus.

But because the pole’s lines feed Zelienople’s electric substation, customers in Zelienople were without power from 11:15 a.m. until 2:40 p.m. The borough provides electrical service to residents and businesses from its own substation.

While Bilo Super Market in Northgate Plaza had power all day, Hearth and Home Furnishings just across the Connoquenessing Creek had no electricity.

Megan Murphy, manager of Hearth and Home, said her business was virtually down as long as the power was. Murphy said she was unable to answer the electronic phones, answer e-mail, or show customers around the darkened showroom.

“The only light was by the doors,” she said. “We just waited it out.”

Randy Herbe, owner of Z Town Cafe on Main Street, said he had to close during the outage.

He first turned off anything in the restaurant that makes heat, such as the gas grill, to avoid the automatic deployment of his foam fire extinguishers that go off when they sense heat.

He said the lack of power to his ventilation system also would have caused fumes and smoke to back up into the restaurant. Cooks were unable even to make cold sandwiches because the coolers and freezers were kept closed to preserve the food items inside.

“They will keep things cold for 24 to 48 hours if you don’t open the door,” Herbe said.

But by 3:30 p.m., the cafe was open again.

Carol Wahl of Carol’s Pastry Shop on South Main Street said during the outage she waited on about a dozen customers who shopped by the light just coming in the windows.

She said once she got the electronic cash register open, she left it open to make change for those looking for a sweet treat or loaf of bread.

The secondary campus of the Seneca Valley School District lost power for about 30 minutes this morning, according to Linda Andreassi, director of communications.

“The impact was minimal, and we were able to continue on with a regular schedule under generator power,” she said.

Andreassi said the power was out from about 11:30 a.m. to noon.

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