Lights out on Pike Street

By Jackie Runion

The Marietta Times

A transformer malfunction left 2,187 people along Pike Street and out to Reno without power late into the night Tuesday, and American Electric Power representatives hoped to restore power to the majority of affected customers by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

AEP representative Fay White said the company would be bringing in a mobile transformer, but that wasn’t likely to arrive until about 5 a.m. Wednesday.

“Until then, crews will be switching the majority of customers to secondary power circuits to try restore their power,” White said.

Marietta Safety Service Director Johnathan Hupp said Marietta Police were monitoring the traffic, as most traffic lights remained out into the later hours of the evening.

“The night shift will be watching it, and if necessary, at about 6 a.m., we’ll meet and make a decision to call in traffic control if power is still out,” Hupp said.

Marietta Police reported that the outage occurred at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, and officers were out on Pike throughout the night surveying busy intersections.

“We’re just advising people that if they see a traffic light out, treat it as a four-way stop,” said MPD officer Tyson Estes.

Hupp noted that the lone lit traffic light at the intersection of Acme and Pike where Kroger sits remained on during the outage because of the intersection’s secondary emergency power circuit.

Employees of the Burger King on Pike were spending their evening out in the pitch black parking lot.

By about 8:30 p.m., manager Brenda Clatterbuck said if power was not restored soon, she would send her employees home.

The Burger King operates 24/7, but three hours without power left it, along with all of its neighbors like Wendy’s, Wal-Mart, Captain D’s and nearby gas stations without power and with shut doors.

“We have another group coming in at 11 to work, but I’m not sure what we’re going to do,” Clatterbuck said at the time. “There isn’t much we can do but wait.”

The strands of hotel chains that run down Pike Street all were without lights, and some motorists hoping to get gas were greeted at darkened stations with cordoned off fuel pumps.