Power out for more than 24 hours at Merritt's Railyard Mall
The lights and refrigeration stopped working at a portion of the Railyard Mall — which houses Cooper’s Foods, Work and Play and Lordco Auto Parts — after a transformer tripped at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday.
A truck backed into the unit nearly three years ago, but mall manager Jason Arnold said the incident wasn’t a catalyst in this week’s outage.
While the cause isn’t known, workers suspected windings inside the transformer wore out triggering the power outage.
Arnold said management stayed at the store overnight.
Three refrigerator trucks, each approximately 50 feet long, arrived at around 4 a.m. Thursday and employees loaded product into the vehicles.
“A lot of the food was put in there and once it comes back into the store, it will be tested,” Arnold said. “A lot of it will be thrown out.”
Two disposal containers were called in to accommodate the disposal of any product that went bad, he said.
Employees were tasked with loading the trucks and then packing food back onto the shelves on Friday.
“Everything is tested and will be discarded if it doesn’t pass inspection,” Arnold said. “I believe Cooper’s has food safety policies in place.”
Testing involved checking temperatures and visual inspection.
“The mall will be covering most of the costs on this. It will be a lot,” he added, saying he couldn’t provide an exact figure.
An emergency backup generator was called in and the lights were back on by approximately 11 p.m. Thursday.
Crews then began to restock the shelves and the store opened Friday morning.
Work and Play used a generator to operate the cash register. The building has skylights, which made shopping possible.
“It was pretty much business as usual for us,” store owner Dan Morrissey said. “We didn’t have any food that could expire, other than my lunch.”
Lordco Auto Parts was closed for the duration of the outage.