Several businesses in downtown Elmira were without power for all of Monday and Tuesday and part of Wednesday. The cause of the power outage is being attributed to a blown transformer.
New York State Electic & Gas arrived on the scene this afternoon to get things up and running again…but they cannot replace what’s already been lost.
M&M Red Hots lost power early Monday morning. Owner, Andy Seymour, spent Tuesday morning throwing away perishables.
“Right now I’m cleaning stuff out .. the coolers have been down too long and stuff’s got to go. I’m cleaning out, throwing it away…So far, I’ve lost cheese, ham, the freezer unit is still holding good but if it goes much longer I’ll be losing other product too,” Seymour said.
Seymour was not only being kept in the dark by the power outage, but also by NYSEG, as the estimated restoration time was continuously pushed back.
“Yesterday it was 9:45..then it was 3..then it was 5..then it was midnight..then it was 9:30 this morning..then it was 11:30.. and now you’re telling me it’s noon,” Seymour said.
Over at the YWCA, senior citizens were disappointed to arrive at 6:30AM today and yesterday for swimming and learn that the pool could not open without lights due to a safety hazard.
The YWCA also has a summer feeding program for children. Without any appliances, they had to get creative.
“They brought the hot food, you have to keep it warm, we have a full kitchen so normally if something cools down we’re able to put it in the microwave or the oven to keep it warm, so we really had to get the food out as quick as we could.. but then it was just a matter of storing it afterwards. So you have to find a lot of ice and you have to start finding creative ways to keep the food warm and keep it fresh,” A’Don Allen, Director of Youth Services, YWCA.
Elks Lodge – aside from being a business – was also a polling location yesterday for the congressional primary election, and they were out of power.
Fortunately, the Chemung County Board of Elections had a backup plan and voting was not affected.
“We were able to get a generator from the county, which is part of the plan, so that the machines would work,” Cindy Emmer, Democratic Elections Commissioner for the Chemung County of Board of Elections, said.
And yet – frustration is still abound as the community waited for power to return.
It’s a scramble to try and find things..we have no access to our computers or our internet, or even our telephones, so that part’s a little frustrating,” Allen said.
“Any time you’re shut down for two days is a bad thing. You don’t have anything coming in. You’ve got help that’s not getting paid..they have bills to pay,” Seymour said.
The customers were none too pleased either to be denied their red hots, two days in a row.
Power was fully restored to the area this afternoon.