City of Niles electric utility workers prepare to replace a pole leaning over Terminal Road near the intersection of Terminal and Lake streets north of the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport on Monday. Leader Photo/CRAIG HAUPERT
City of Niles electric utility workers prepare to replace a pole leaning over Terminal Road near the intersection of Terminal and Lake streets north of the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport on Monday. Leader Photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Businesses affected by power outage

Published 8:20am Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Like many homes and businesses between US Highway 12 and Bertrand Road in Niles Township, Shelton’s Farm Market was without power for an extended amount of time after a strong thunderstorm blew through the area Sunday afternoon.

Joe Shelton said his business lost electricity around 7 p.m. Sunday and regained it around 1:30 p.m. Monday, resulting in about a half day of lost retail business.

“You never really get it back,” Shelton said. “It definitely affects the bottom line because although not everyone was working we kept a skeleton crew. People are working but nothing is coming in.”

Shelton’s has several operations, including a wholesale business that distributes produce to customers within a 150-mile radius of Niles.

Shelton said they were forced to load trucks at night using light created by emergency generators and headlights.

“We managed to get through it pretty well,” he said. “All our trucks got out in the morning.”

Shelton’s also used emergency generators to keep the produce at the right temperature.

“We have some back-up power to get us through the bare minimum. Fortunately this time of the year it is nice and cold outside,” he said.

Brandywine Community Schools was also affected by the storm.

Supt. John Jarpe said they lost power at the Bell building, Brandywine Elementary and Merritt Elementary. The high school/middle school building was the only structure to retain power.

Brandywine closed all schools Monday.

“When it gets to be a cold time of the year and you are without power then you are also without heat,” Jarpe said.

Power was restored to all Brandywine buildings early Monday afternoon. Jarpe said school would resume today at normal time.

Indiana Michigan Power, which supplies power to customers all over Michiana, said more than 53,000 customers were without power as of 10 a.m. Monday, down from a peak of 70,000 Sunday night.

In an email to customers, the power company said damage was most extensive in southwest Michigan and that restoration efforts could go through at least Friday.

Indiana Michigan Power crews assessing damage from Sunday’s major windstorm discovered more than 80 poles down throughout the service area, plus numerous areas where limbs and branches knocked down power lines.

 

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