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Power outage shuts down area eateries

By BY BRIAN M. CUARON
May 1, 2011 at 12:01 a.m.

Officer Jeff Strauss directs traffic at the intersection of Navarro and Glascow Streets after a power outage caused traffic lights to go out.  The outage also affected several businesses in the area including Cherry Berry, Olive Garden, Burger King and Best Buy.

WHAT WENT WRONG

A connector that connected a jumper to a conductor burned out.

Energy goes through one conductor to another through jumpers. So when a jumper isn't connected to one conductor, the energy flow stops.

Elgin Janssen, of AEP Texas, said recent heavy winds bring dust, pollen and other particles that can shorten the life of a connector like the one that failed Sunday. With no recent rain to clean the connector, the problem was worsened.

Nobody likes rejection - not even a 4-year-old.

McKencie Moncrief had traveled from Seadrift in 92-degree heat to get a taste of Cherry Berry's yogurt. Upon arriving, she marched up to the door, only to be turned down when she found it locked because of the power outage on Sunday in Victoria.

Poor McKencie turned around with her head down and a noticeable frown of disappointment.

"Two- to 3-year-olds just don't understand," said Meghan Moncrief as McKencie and her friend protested the store's closure.

They weren't the only ones irked by the effects of the power outage centering around Loop 463 and North Navarro Street. About 350 customers lost power at 12:30 p.m., most for about an hour, said Elgin Janssen, community affairs manager for AEP Texas. Some locations reported longer outages.

Lines of vehicles formed as police directed traffic when traffic lights stopped working. Owners also saw traffic in the form of customers whom they had to turn away.

"I had a restaurant full of business, and I had to turn all away because I had no food," said Michael Word, general manager of Buffalo Wild Wings who lost power for 3 hours.

"My church crowd is always good and to not have that hurts," added Word, who was limited to serving chips with salsa or cheese during the outage.

The nearby McDonalds lost the use of its credit card machine even after the outage. At Olive Garden, customers thanked workers for their hard work and wished them luck when leaving.

The Cherry Berry, meanwhile, had to wait until its yogurt machines were cleaned since the food froze.

Bad news for 11-year-old Karrington Haun.

"I'm like really upset," she said. "I cleaned my room for nothing."

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