Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oldsmar businesses, customers make do while power is out for hours

OLDSMAR — About 13,000 Tampa Electric customers in Oldsmar and western Hillsborough County lost power early Monday, disrupting morning routines and costing businesses thousands of dollars.

The lights went out at 6:07 a.m., causing traffic signals to malfunction and alarms to go off at local stores. Power was restored at 8:41 a.m., said Rick Morera, spokesman for TECO Energy, Tampa Electric's parent company.

"The cause of the outage this morning was the result of a connection failure (splice) on one of our transmission circuits that resulted in the wire coming down just outside of our Sheldon Road substation,'' he said. "We will examine (the) splice in an attempt to determine the root cause of the failure.''

When Missy Ledea, a customer service representative at Circle K Express along Tampa Road, came to work, the lights were off, the register was down and the doors were open because the air-conditioning was not working.

How did she do business? The old-fashioned way.

"We did everything by calculator,'' she said, adding that she wrote down everything people bought on a notepad.

At nearby 7-Eleven, 3855 Tampa Road, owner Kam Johal estimates he lost $1,000 worth of sales in two hours.

His gas pumps were inoperable and some perishable foods started to go bad in the heat.

"We lost ice cream and milk products,'' he said. "The Slurpee machine is still down.''

The air-conditioning system was still off around 11:30 a.m. and the store was stifling.

"We usually have a backup,'' Johal said, adding a repair person was expected soon.

The staff at Dunkin' Donuts, 3720 Tampa Road, was recovering nicely about noon after trying to serve cranky commuters without the benefit of electricity.

Manager Sneha Patel sold iced coffee and doughnuts that had been freshly made prior to the outage.

For her customers, it was paper money or the honor system.

"We couldn't take credit cards and some people didn't have cash,'' she said. "If we knew them, we'd say, 'We'll get you another day.' ''

Eileen Schulte can be reached at or (727) 445-4153.

Oldsmar businesses, customers make do while power is out for hours 08/10/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 7:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Serena Williams, and all women, deserved better from John McEnroe


    John McEnroe might be the best sports analyst in broadcasting.

    Serena Williams makes a backhand return to her sister Venus during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in January in  Melbourne, Australia. [AP photo]
  2. Watch: Provocateur targets CNN producer with hidden camera video


    NEW YORK —A conservative provocateur posted a video Tuesday of a man identified as a CNN producer commenting on his network's coverage of President Donald Trump and connections to Russia.

    Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. [Associated Press]
  3. Protesters demand Confederate statue be moved from old Hillsborough courthouse


    TAMPA – Politicians, clergy and community leaders demanded Tuesday that the Hillsborough County commission reverse course and remove a Confederate monument from the old county courthouse.

    (From left) Mike Reed, Kristen Perry and Dayna Lazarus hold protest signs Tuesday in front of a Confederate monument on the grounds of Hillsborough County's old courthouse. Protesters want the statue removed. ALESSANDRA DA PRA   Times]
  4. Man charged with threatening Florida lawmaker on Facebook


    From The Associated Press:

    MIAMI — A Florida man has been charged with threatening to kill a state legislator in a Facebook post. 

    This booking photo released by the Miami-Dade Police Department shows Steve St. Felix, who has been charged with threatening to kill Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in a Facebook post.
  5. Joe Maddon: What my time in Tampa Bay meant, and still means, to me

    The Heater

    Editor's note: The Rays next week in Chicago will meet up for the first time with former manager Joe Maddon, who is in his third year leading the Cubs after nine with the Rays. In advance of the Tuesday-Wednesday series, we asked Maddon to share his thoughts in a column on what his time in Tampa Bay meant to …

    Joe Maddon waits to greet B.J. Upton after Upton's home run in Game 2 of the ALCS in 2008 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2008)]