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Storm knocks out power to Eastpointe

by Franny White

STAFF WRITER

Shoppers found themselves in the dark Wednesday afternoon during a severe thunderstorm that shut off power at the Eastpointe Shopping Center in Clarksburg.

According to Allegheny Power spokesman Allen Staggers, lightning struck a powerline near the shopping center around 2 p.m. Wednesday, which triggered a circuit breaker-type of machine to cut power to more than a dozen stores at the shopping center from the Big Kmart to the Eastpointe Postal Store.

For the 40 minutes that power was off, most stores were unable to conduct business transactions and closed their doors. RadioShack, however, was able to make a few sales by using old-fashioned pen and paper.

"It's been difficult, though," said RadioShack sales associate J.D. Masturzo.

Lowe's hardware store was one of the few stores relatively unaffected by the outage. After fewer than five minutes without power, the store turned on its power generator and continued its normal business activities.

Meanwhile, employees huddled at the front entrance of their stores, peering through windows for light and awaiting the power's return.

At approximately 2:40 p.m., Allegheny Power switched the power back on, Staggers said, and normal, power-dependent shopping convened.

Staff writer Franny White can be reached at 626-1443.

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