By Darrell Todd Maurina
The city of Melrose lost electric power for about an hour Wednesday night, knocking out the lights at most homes and businesses in the city of 800.
Police Administrator C.C. Pyle said a few buildings retained power due to generators, but most went dark.
“It went off at 7:45 and came on about five minutes ago (at 8:50 p.m.),” Pyle said. “One of the officers stood by until the lights came back on.”
Pyle said he didn’t know of any serious problems caused by the power outage.
“Everything went smooth,” Pyle said. “Most people just lit candles, a few people came out in the street to talk.”
One place people went to talk was Allsup’s convenience store, where clerk Heather Muller was trying to cope with unexpected stress on her first day of work.
“There were people coming down to see what was going on because the police officer was here,” Muller said. “After the power went out, the gas pumps wouldn’t work. I had the system here for the register for probably another 15 minutes after the power went out, but then they went dead.”
Muller said the store didn’t lose any perishable food items during the hourlong outage, but did lose some sales.
“Some people did come in and want gas, and some people wanted merchandise,” Muller said. “I sat out and talked with the policeman and he wasn’t sure what was going on.”
Muller, who moved to the area from Ohio just a month ago, said she appreciated the way local residents made the experience less stressful.
“I coped with the help of the nice people in Melrose,” Muller said. “If it wasn’t for the ex-employees that came in and helped me I don’t know what I would have done.”