Power Outages Close Businesses

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

July 5, 2005

Local businesses were also hit hard by today's weather, and thousands of power outages were reported throughout the area. But the university area of town seemed to be hit hardest.

Usually bustling with students and visitors, one person described the university area as a 'war zone.'

"There was a lot of flooding especially by the train tressle on 14th. There was about four feet of water at one point and a van tried to go through and the water was over it's headlights. It barely made it," said O'Neils employee Matt Kirkland.

"The rain was going completely sideways. The street was a river. There were newspaper machines and garbage cans floating down the street," said Tony Lechmanski of the Corner Market.

The streets are still littered with leaves and branches and pieces of the restaurants.

"All of the sudden there was this huge whitewash outside the windows and you couldn't see anything. Our tables and chairs actually flew about seven or eight doors down," said Ashley Mauter, manager at O'Neils.

But now things are quiet--almost too quiet for a college campus, even during the summer because businesses have shut their doors.

"I can't ring anything up, so I'm just sitting around, staring at the clock that doesn't work," said Lechmanski.

Baja Bean and Little John's were the last close--even serving some customers in the dark.

"I actually expected Little John's to be open--I mean they're always open," said UVa 4th year Mansij Hans.

Parts of the university have power--but the surrounding residents and businesses are still waiting.

Officials say they hope to have power up and running by Wednesday in the University area.

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