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Businesses Forced to Close Due to Lack of Power

ARCHBALD, Pa. -- A shopping plaza in Lackawanna County has been without power for more than 48 hours causing trouble for tenants who lease store fronts and headaches for shoppers.

“We left, clocked out around 6:45 p.m., Friday morning we showed up to work with no power,” P & R Discounts store manager Ashley Ogozaly said.

Empty aisles and cleared out coolers and freezers was an unusual sight at P&R Discounts in Eynon after power to Sugerman's Plaza in Eynon was turned off and left food unsafe for customers.

“We'll we've been out of business now for two days, Friday and Saturdays being our busiest days of the week. We're not sure when we're going to reopen again, hopefully, tomorrow, Monday at the latest, but at this point, we have been working to make sure our product is in the cooler units, freezer units, but we did lose one whole truckful yesterday,” Ogozaly said.

While the lights are back on at P & R Discounts, the store is only running on a generator, meaning their perishable items have to stay in cooler trucks or be shipped to the Edwardsville location instead. They also had to call off a majority of their staff.

“This is right before Christmas time, right before the holidays, so our paychecks are going to be less,” Ogozaly said.

Staff weren't the only ones upset customers who were hoping to shop for their groceries had to be turned away.

“Very disappointed, I come here for all my gluten-free items, and now I'm going to be stuck having to wait until they open again,” Jull Kamora of Peckville.

Next door, Cost Tire and Auto also had no power Friday into Saturday, making it challenging to serve customers.

“There were people whose cars were leftover who anticipated having their vehicle done, the holidays close so, you know it's important that we got those done. We did the best we could between taking it to Dunmore or Carbondale to try and filter the work,” manager of Kost Tire and Auto Edward Vitock said.

While power is slowly being restored to the businesses in Sugerman's Plaza, the main office says they are unsure when full power will be restored.

“We have power on now, it's coming on stage by stage with generators, and the borough officials have been here to make sure it's safe, and we're waiting to hear from them on a final determination as to whether we can continue with generators. My understanding is PP&L will turn on the electricity on Monday,” lawyer for Sugerman’s plaza’s owner David Kurtz said.

P & R Discounts says they were told the power was shut off due to the owner of Sugerman's Plaza not paying the bill on time, but the owner's lawyer says that's not the case.

“We've challenged the electric rate we're being charged. It's the highest electrical rate that any person pays, whether residential or commercial. We filed a formal complaint before the PEC, but it wasn't lodged in time to prevent the shut-off,” Kurtz said.

According to the Sugerman's  Marketplace Facebook page, they will be closed tomorrow, and plan to hold their Christmas Marketplace that was scheduled for Sunday, December 15th on Saturday, December 21st.

P&R Discounts were also forced to close it's doors Saturday, posting to Facebook that the generator use was unsafe. They tell Newswatch 16 the Eynon location will be closed again on Sunday, but that the Edwardsville location will be operating as usual.

6 comments

  • norman vincent

    I’ve heard the fire marshal told them they could not open because the generators were not safe.

    Sounds like the landlord is playing fast and lose

  • savescrantonhistory

    This power outage for the building doesn’t strike me as unusual. More than a few vendors in the flea market portion of the building had products damaged because the owner was too cheap to put a roof on for a while. By the time they did at least one of the vendors I knew had had more than a couple things ruined. So filing against the PUC for their electricity rates doesn’t strike me as out of character given the past history.

  • fedupwithsusquehannaspoorchoices

    There have been conflicting stories about this issue. Saturday, the plaza owners posted on Facebook that they had a transformer blow up. P&R Discount Grocery states the electricity was turned off for non-payment by the plaza owners. In this piece, the plaza’s attorney is saying that the power was not turned off for non-payment, however, they are challenging the electric rates and didn’t file their complaint in time.

    That the plaza didn’t get a filing in on time is beside the point. The attorney appears to be stating the power was shut off. There was NO mention of a failed transformer, only that the power had been shut off.

    I suspect that Kost Tire, P&R and the vendors in the plaza will be contacting their attorneys to attempt to get reimbursed for the interruption and loss of business revenue, as they should.

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