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Power Outage on Forbes forces restaurants to close

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Power Outage on Forbes forces restaurants to close

By Lauren Rosenblatt and Danni Zhou / News editors

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A thunderstorm-caused power outage late Sunday triggered electricity to be cut off from two Oakland traffic lights as well as several businesses on Monday, a day-long problem that persisted late into the evening.

Duquesne Light, which operates the power lines in the area, initially got the call of the outage at 8:15 a.m. The company suspected the outage was caused by yesterday’s storm but hadn’t confirmed a specific cause by Monday afternoon. Ashlee Yingling, a spokesperson for Duquesne Light, said the company would have an estimated time that power would be restored once they determined the problem causing the outage.

Around 11 a.m., Duquesne Light tweeted that “crews are working as safely and quickly as possible to restore power.” They urged customers to report any other outages.

Several hours later, Yingling said the company had not determined the cause of the outage but had “troubleshooters and an underground crew on site to determine the issue.” Some workers on scene speculated a severe thunderstorm on Sunday had caused the outage.

By 6 p.m., Yingling said the company “de-energized” the underground circuits. Around then, several police officers and Duquesne Light workers were gathered at the corner of Atwood Street and Forbes Avenue. The underground supervisor on scene on Monday said he did not know when businesses could expect the power to come back on.

The previous night, sixty mile per hour winds and hail struck several areas of Allegheny County. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued until 7 p.m. and a flood warning was in place until 9:30 p.m. Many trees fell, and several streets and basements flooded, including in Oakland.

In order to investigate, Duquesne Light briefly shut off the electricity connected to several restaurants and stores along Forbes Avenue between South Bouquet Street and Meyran Avenue. The power remained off Monday night.

The street lights at the intersection of Atwood Street and Forbes Avenue, as well as Meyran and Forbes Avenue, remained out as well. Along Forbes Avenue, several restaurants, including Chipotle, Golden Palace Buffet, Pamela’s Diner and Top Shabu-Shabu & Lounge, were also closed.

The restaurants on Forbes Avenue run on at least two different circuits so other restaurants, such as Hello Bistro and Red Oak Cafe, remained open.

Subway, which runs on three breakers, lost air conditioning and lighting for the dining room from two breakers Monday afternoon but was able to remain open for part of the day. The third breaker powers the restaurant’s essentials, owner John Khara said, including the toaster, refrigerators and the cash register. By Monday evening, the third breaker also went out and the restaurant closed early.

A McDonald’s employee, who declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to talk about the outage, said the lights in the restaurant had been flickering since around 10 p.m. Sunday night and that the power partially went out around 8 a.m. Monday morning.

The employee said the partial outage affected the restaurant’s appliances and refrigerators, forcing it to close on Monday.

A block away, on Fifth Avenue, the stop lights and restaurants were not affected.
There was also a tree down near Euler Way on Meyran Avenue, but the Pittsburgh Bureau Fire Department said they did not know if the tree was related to the power outage. They assumed the tree came down Monday night and did not think anyone was injured.

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Power Outage on Forbes forces restaurants to close