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Sunday, Mar 01, 2015

5,800 lose power in Hernando

Tribune Staff


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BROOKSVILLE — A man was about to enter the Western Way Barber Shop around 2:30 p.m. Thursday when owner Eileen Kaufmann stopped him.

Kaufmann, one of the original occupants of the Western Way shopping center, apologized as she told the man that the power was out.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t use the clippers right now,” she said.

Kaufmann, who has been at the location for 30 years, had a customer in the chair when the power went out around 2 p.m., but she said that she was able to finish the haircut with scissors.

“Periodically, this happens during the summertime, but it never stays out for long,” she said between attempted calls to Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative. “Usually for the businesses, they’re right on it. It doesn’t stay out for long.”

About 5,800 customers were affected by the outage, which lasted less than an our, a WREC representative said. An official cause was not immediately available.

The power outage caused temporary confusion to customers trying to get into businesses at the shopping center.

Hesham Michael, a pharmacist intern at Good Shepherd Pharmacy, next to Kaufmann’s barber shop, took a break on the sidewalk, while he waited for the power to come back.

“No one can do anything inside,” he said. “The computers are down. We have back-up batteries, but we need to be able to print out the prescription” labels.

The power outage left Weeki Wachee resident Vernon Tonnesen in a brief quandary. Tonnesen said that he had just left Wal-Mart, across Cortez Boulevard from Western Way shopping center, and there were no power issues.

“I just wanted to get a few groceries” at Save-A-Lot, he said. “I didn’t need much. I might just wait it out, because as soon as I get in my car to leave, the power will come back.”

As those words left Tonnesen’s lips, lights came on in the nearby Bealls Outlet store.

Tonnesen smiled as he headed toward Save-A-Lot.

“Bananas are cheaper over here,” he said.

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