Doing Business In The Dark

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Power has been restored in the Clarks Summit area of Lackawanna County, but for a few hours Monday homes and businesses were left without electricity.

It was an interruption and inconvenience that was totally unexpected.

It was mostly shops and restaurants that lost power earlier in the day, shutting down business for most of lunchtime. The light flickered back on around 3 p.m. and PPL officials have traced the problem back to a construction site just a few miles away.

They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone so it was a rude awakening for drivers and business owners on the busiest street in Clarks Summit during the busiest time of the day. Traffic lights on Northern Boulevard, all of a sudden, turned off causing lots of confusion. Eventually, borough crews hooked the lights up to a generator. The dozens of business owners though, had to make due.

"I can only take cash. You can pick one out if you can seem them!"

Employees at Hallmark tried to make sales in the dark, after they found a way to pry open the cash register.

"Nothing, it just went out, and usually when power goes out it flickers back on maybe two or three times. But it never even flickered back on," said Marcia Zabawa at Hallmark.

The outage went straight through the business district in Clarks Summit. According to PPL, more than 1,000 homes and businesses lost power. Most of those shops and restaurants that had to shut down right in the middle of the lunch rush.

Without a refrigerator or a way to see what they were making, employees at Caravia Fresh Foods closed for a few hours.

"We can't safely serve food in the dark, and the refrigeration, everything is down."

"It's just best to leave things locked up and closed up for now until we see what happens."

Businesses waited while PPL crews looked for the root of the problem. Officials say an excavator on a construction site a few miles away hit an unmarked 12,000 volt power line. There were concerns at first, but the broken line was fixed fast enough to make these folks very happy.

PPL crews started working on that broken line as soon as they found it.  Power came back on in the shopping plaza around 3 p.m. PPL officials told us that all power was restored just before 4 p.m.