ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) – It was a quiet Saturday night in St. Albans during a normally busy time.
Restaurants on Main Street were forced to shut their doors during their busiest hours of the week after harsh winds knocked power out in much of St. Albans.
Restaurant owners say their lights were out for around 26 hours this weekend, with the power going out mid-Saturday afternoon, right as restaurants were opening for dinner.
Guy Turturice, co-owner of Shuckers on Main Street, says the restaurant was prepping to switch from their brunch to dinner menus when the power went out.
“We were already open for brunch and prepping for dinner which is a whole different amount of food, then you have it all ready, and literally ready for people to come in. Then you have to do something with it since your power’s out,” Turturice says.
He adds that having to close over the weekend was as bad of a time as it could have been.
“Having a Saturday be impacted like that, having to be closed, is not good,” Turturice says.
Bryan England, the owner of The Tap, says his business was open when the power went out, but he had to send customers home to be compliant with safety protocols.
“When you’re dealing with small businesses, especially us, we’re fairly new,” England tells 13 News. “And we’re just trying to plug along and do the right things, and run our business the right way. It’s tough when you have days like that.”
Owners add that Appalachian Power told them that the estimated restoration time for their power would not be until Tuesday night, three days after the outage. At that point, owners like Angela Samples of Angela’s by the River felt they had no choice but to close.
“With the food that was out, because we didn’t have any power. But the rule is when in doubt, throw it out. So I lost a lot of money and food,” Samples says.
Samples says the power outage forced them to cancel 69 dinner reservations Saturday night. But their phone was also out and they had to find a way to tell customers to stay home.
“But it was still trying to notify people on my cell phone, and I didn’t have phone numbers on some of them to say please don’t come, sorry,” Samples says. “But it ruined a lot of birthday parties. But that was the only way I could do it.”
AEP tells 13 News that nearly 60,000 customers in West Virginia lost power this weekend, but 90% of those customers have their power back. They added that those who are still without power in Kanawha County should expect to have their power back by the end of Monday night.