That’s what you’ll find throughout much of Morenci tomorrow when Consumers Energy shuts off the lights to take care of a major maintenance project.
At Borchardt Brothers Market, the generator will be fired up to keep the freezers cold, so the doors will remain open.
“As long as I’ve got to have power, I might as well be open,” Bill Borchardt said. “I hope it will be a service to the town.”
For example, Borchardt said, without power in people’s homes and with a reluctance to open and the close the refrigerator door, he suggests that people remember his deli foods for some ready-to-eat lunch items.
Adam Johnson and his staff have worked in the dark before during power outages, and he plans to remain open Thursday.
Mike’s Pharmacy will be open, as will The Pub although food won’t be served.
Mail will be delivered as normal Thursday morning, but the Morenci Post Office will most likely be closed during the outage.
The Deli will be open until the outage begins at 7 a.m. and the store will open again when the power is back on at 3 p.m.
Pizza Box owner Trish Burrough also intends to open late when power is restored.
The banks, the library and city hall will be closed. What about the Observer office? Owner David Green says he’ll try to get some work done near the window. Failing that, he’ll lock up, too.
As far as Consumers Energy’s service area goes, the outage affects only Morenci, but there’s a catch for some rural customers. Because the substation southeast of Canandaigua is fed by the Consumers line coming into Morenci, an area of Midwest Energy’s service north of town will also be without power.
That’s why De-Mor Hills Golf Course has announced the restaurant will be closed until 3 p.m. Thursday.
There's maintenance work to be done
Post cards sent to Consumers Energy customers last week stated the planned blackout is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Consumers spokesperson Terry DeDoes doesn’t expect much deviation from that plan.
Eight hours are scheduled, he said, and the company is generally quite accurate in its predictions.
The work Thursday is designed to prevent a problem in the future, DeDoes explained.
There’s one main electrical feed into Morenci, entering town on the north side after working its way down from the Hudson area. Two poles supporting the lines are becoming increasingly close to the edge of Bean Creek due to bank erosion. One is located north of the city sewage lagoons and the other is located farther north. Continuing erosion of the creek bank will endanger the stability of both poles.
If the pole toppled on its own, he said, the repair time would be much greater than that scheduled Thursday.
“It’s always better to do the work on a scheduled basis rather than wait until there’s a problem,” DeDoes said.
Unfortunately, it isn’t safe for workers to complete the task in darkness, so the work is scheduled for daylight hours.
Consumers has done as much as possible ahead of time to minimize the outage time.
Power will be cut to approximately 1,040 residences and businesses, DeDoes said. Consumers worked with city officials to determine the best day of the week for the outage, first wait ing until school was out of session.
The first step in the process is to de-energize the system for workers’ safety, DeDoes said, and that takes about an hour.
Lines will be relocated to the two new poles, and when that work is completed, another hour will be needed to power the system back up.
“In addition to replacing the poles, we’re going to perform crossbar maintenance at five other locations,” DeDoes said.
This additional work won’t increase the outage time, he said.
Weather conditions are expected to allow the work to go forward as planned, however, Consumers set the following Thursday, June 21, as a backup date.
Is it a community-wide vacation day?
A planned power outage? How convenient is that? No rooting around for candles and matches or flashlights and batteries, no wishing you had made dinner earlier.
When the lights and everything else electrical go out in Morenci and environs tomorrow, residents can plan where they’re going to be. And, anticipating a free day, some already have.
Where will you be when the lights go out? What are you going to do when there’s no power on Thursday?
Head to somewhere where there’s lots of power.
– Curley Girdham
I’m going to the county library. I just got to figure out where it is.
– William Reid
I’m going to Hudson. My daughter lives there and I’m going to watch the grandkids.
– Sherrie Lauffer
I’m going to Sam’s.
– Dianne Grieder
I do things on the spur of the moment. I haven’t planned that far ahead. I can find something to do. I have two jigsaw puzzles to do.
– Marilyn Rorick
I’ll probably be watching my grandkids.
– Diane Varga
I might do homework.
– Stephanie Mossing
We are going to go to the zoo.
– Becky Mock
We’re going out to eat.
– Lori Drogowski
I’m going to Toledo. My daughter Kathy lives in Maumee. I’m going to visit her and my little granddaughter.
– Anne Johncox
I haven’t really figured it out yet. I figure it’ a good day to to to Adrian for and early breakfast and go shopping and bum around.
– Ruth Downer
We’ll go out to eat breakfast. Shopping, maybe to Toledo. Take in a movie or something.
– Gayle Dominique
Going to the movies in Adrian.
– Courtney Kruger
I’m cleaning rocks for my grandma.
– Nate Grieder
I'm using my Toledo Zoo pass to take Cindy Lazarz out for a treat during her last week at the Bank of Lenawee. I can’t take my granddaughter so I’ll take Cindy.
– Renée Schroeder
Playing cards at my house.
– Dominique Cox
Going to the lake.
– Tommy McVay
Running around getting in condition for track.
Going to my friend’s house and ride bikes.
– Kaitlyn Bovee–June 13, 2007