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Wreck blocks traffic, business

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
May 9, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.

A Waste Management truck struck powerlines about 6:30 a.m. Monday in the 3100 block of North Navarro Street, rerouting traffic for most of Monday.

Lee and Ida Caballero, husband and wife general managers of Veracruz Restaurant in Victoria, lost their lunch Monday.

Financially, that is.

The restaurant, 3110 N. Navarro St., had no customers during the lunch hour because traffic northbound on Navarro Street between Locust Street and Mesquite Street was rerouted after a Waste Management truck caught a dumpster in overhead lines, bringing down one utility pole and uprooting another.

Caballero said the restaurant lost its telephone service and credit card machine, but not its power.

But the rerouted traffic included blocking the restaurant's driveway beneath the dangling lines in the middle of one pole on the ground and another leaning across the inside street lane.

"At first, I figured I could do all cash and check, but customers couldn't get to us. It cost us everything from 11 a.m. when we would open for lunch," he said.

Caballero said an average day's lunch brings in about $2,500.

The restaurant also serves dinner.

"I hope they re-open it soon," Caballero said about 3 p.m. Monday. "We have a party of 60 coming in at 6:30."

Ida Caballero said she had called the party organizer, for the Cade Middle School cheerleaders, and told them to come through the grass lot at the back of the property off Cameron Street if Navarro Street remained closed.

The incident happened about 6:30 a.m., said O.C. Garza, the city's director of communications. Two of the three northbound lanes reopened at 5:10 p.m.; the third lane was still being worked on Monday night.

Next door to the Veracruz, a Sonic Drive-In also was blocked from traffic. On the other side, McDonald's escaped the rerouting and was open for business as usual.

Caballero said the dumpster being lifted was from his business.

He wasn't sure if they would try to recoup any of their losses from Waste Management. Ida suggested a discount on the dumpster for a few months might be appropriate to make up for the loss.

Waste Management is a private company that contracts with the city for commercial garbage pickup service. Calls to the corporate office in Houston were not returned.



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