September 16, 2014

Daily power outages a concern in AuGres

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AuGRES — A recent string of daily power outages have left a number of residents and business owners in AuGres scratching their heads.

For the past week, power in AuGres has been going out and quickly turning back on, leaving residents annoyed and frustrated.

City Manager Pat Killingbeck said she noticed the outages about a week ago, adding that sometimes there is an outage about two or three times a day.

“It just flashes off and then on,” she said. “There must be a short somewhere. I have never seen anything like this here. Sometimes during the day (I) don’t even notice it go off, I come back into a room, and the clock is blinking.”

Mary Gust, spokesperson for Consumers Energy, said that crews have been unable to identify the cause of the “momentary outages.”

“We have had our crews working on the problem for several times this week,” she said. “At this point we are just not sure what is causing the outages.”

Gust said that momentary outages can be caused by something as simple as a tree branch leaning over and bumping a power line.

“They can also be very difficult to locate,” she said.

Eric Maliskey, store manager for Bernard Building Center said the outages have been an annoyance for the business and the customers.

“(The power) has been going out and coming back. It’s been more annoying than anything,” he said. “We will be working on a quote for a customer, the power will go off and we have to begin the whole process over again.”

Maliskey said that situations while like this do hurt business, they are more of an inconvenience.

Claire Allen, an employee at H & H Bakery and Restaurant reiterated Maliskey’s point.

“These (outages) make it so that we can’t take care of our customers,” she said. “We have computers that connect to our kitchen, and we lose orders when we lose power. We just have to do things the old-fashioned way.”

Allen said that she is also worried about what is happening to her appliances and computer at home.

“I wonder what is happening to our computer and television when these (outages) are happening,” she said.

Killingbeck said that the biggest issue for the city is the alarm that goes off at the AuGres Water Department every time the power goes off.

“It could be worse,” she said.

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