Downed cable at 40th, Walnut streets
Recent power outages in area are due to a malfunctioning underground cable
April 15, 2011, 1:32 am · Updated April 15, 2011, 12:00 am·
Power failures near 40th and Walnut streets recently left students and businesses temporarily without power. However, according to the PECO energy company, full power has been returned to most customers.
PECO experienced an underground cable failure Tuesday at 10:21 p.m., spokesman Ben Armstrong said. But, in one form or another, “everyone has power now.”
PECO restored power to 69 of the 71 customers in a little over two hours after its initial power outage. However, it has not yet been able to bring full power to Fresh Grocer, located at 40th and Walnut streets, and the parking garage next door.
Currently, Fresh Grocer is operating on a generator and the garage has a temporary power line, Armstrong said. As of press time, the company hoped to have repaired the cable “sometime overnight,” which would restore power to both.
One possible reason for the failure could have been due to a “crack in the [wire’s] insulation where you can get water into the line,” breaking it, which can happen in cases of large rainfall such as that on Tuesday. Workers are now “trying to remove the fragments and replace this damaged section of the cable,” Armstrong added.
Smokey Joe’s, a bar at 210 S. 40th St., stayed open Tuesday night using candle light, night manager Joe Whelpley wrote in a statement. However, business was quieter than usual since the bar processes credit cards and customers were unable to use the ATMs on-site.
Smoke’s musician Kenn Kweder and a band comprised of Penn students called Fat Panther were also unable to perform on Tuesday night. Donations to be collected in the name of Owen Thomas, a Penn football player who committed suicide last spring, were also postponed.
To Whelpley’s dismay, “a few hours of being out ended up being approximately 36 hours.” Smoke’s missed an entire night of business on the Wednesday night before Spring Fling.
College junior Megan Garvey noticed the power outage when she visited Smoke’s on Tuesday. The bar was candle-lit, and “students had fun with it,” she said, adding that some brought glow-in-the dark bracelets.
“The students were amused but the staff weren’t because we were losing money,” Whelpley added.
The power went out in her apartment at the Radian at about 10:30 p.m., College sophomore Molly Roy said. She said it came on again shortly before midnight.
The situation is a “high priority,” Armstrong said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience.”