GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Power has been restored to customers in Girard following an outage on Friday.
At the peak of the outage, over 3,000 customers were without power in Girard and parts of McDonald.
The outage began Friday morning and lasted about four hours. Power was restored by 1 p.m.
First News received some complaints from residents as well as businesses in Girard about the major power outage. We’re told this isn’t the first time this year.
The outage caused many businesses to close their doors until it came back on. The mayor and at least one local business owner are upset about the whole issue.
Cars were driving away from the Jib Jab Hot Dog Shoppe in Girard during the restaurant’s lunch rush on Friday.
“We’d be going through a lot of hot dogs right now, so it’s a little unfortunate,” said general manager Eric Archer.
Power was out for about four hours at the Hot Dog Shoppe. Across the street, Steel Valley Spay Neuter Clinic had a sign that read “No power, no phones, ugh!”
“When the power goes out, we also have to take more time to get ready when it comes back on. So not only are we out during the outage, we’re also out an additional hour after it comes on so we can get everything to proper temp,” Archer said.
Girard Mayor Jim Melfi walked us through a dark courthouse and city building. He said the number of outages this year is pretty frustrating.
“It’s taking away the quality of life in our town,” he said.
However, Lauren Siburkis from FirstEnergy says this most recent outage due to an unforeseen equipment error isn’t connected to the previous outages.
“The issue that they experienced this past week, it is a relatively easy issue for us to address. We want to reiterate that these are not related to the previous equipment issues that caused reliability concerns in the area in the past,” she said.
Archer says the Hot Dog Shoppe cannot buy a generator.
“It’s just another cost… and then we’re losing power and we’re losing business. It’s hard to bring on other costs,” Archer said.
Archer says they typically sell thousands of hot dogs a day, so this was a major hit for the restaurant.
“For my lunch rush, I probably lose 30-40 percent of my sales for the day, for a Friday,” he said.
Mayor Melfi wants to remind residents and businesses that the city is not responsible for the electricity, but he does understand the frustrations. He says he has tried to reach out to FirstEnergy for an explanation as to why it has happened so frequently.
Siburkis issued the following statement on Friday about outages in the area.
“We understand customers in the Girard area may be frustrated by the brief service disruptions they experienced this week. Outages, no matter the length or reason, are an inconvenience to our customers, and we assure them the interruptions they experienced this week are unrelated to previous equipment issues that have caused reliability concerns in the past,” she wrote.
Siburkis went on to say that FirstEnergy is working to balance the electrical load across power lines in the area and that an equipment error resulted in previous service interruptions and they are working to “prevent future, unpredicted service disruptions.”
“While we can’t eliminate the possibility of outages occurring due to reasons out of our control, we continue to take steps to minimize the impact of service interruptions when they do occur,” Siburkis said.