Around 7 p.m. Thursday evening, the power went out for many Collegetown businesses and residences on the 400 block of College Avenue — plunging student hangouts like Collegetown Bagels, Rulloff’s, Apollo’s and 7/11 into near-darkness. Power returned to the block at approximately 11:45 a.m. Friday morning.
All the businesses remained open during the night despite the outage: CTB ran on a back-up generator, 7/11 only accepted cash and Rulloff’s lit candles, encouraging customers to write out their card and contact information if they did not have cash.
Since most students use card payments, 7/11 employee Edwin Carrero worried on Thursday about the impact of the outage on sales, but admitted that there was not much that they could do. That concern proved true, as Ravi Meel, a 7/11 manager, said the store did lose a lot of business during the power outage — 7/11 was without power for approximately 17 hours.
“We just had no heavy equipment on, so no cooler, no freezer, but we had storage freezer which we used to store ice cream and stuff like that,” Meel said. “We still lost a lot of ice cream and other stuff — anything [that was] frozen.”
Reagan T., a CTB employee, told The Sun that NYSEG had reached out to the businesses on Wednesday, warning them that the inclement weather and strong winds could cause an outage. CTB was offering a limited menu with only cold sandwiches, bowls and drinks.
It is “difficult to run a store without power,” Lindsey Brous, co-owner of CTB told The Sun on Friday morning. The store opened for business at its regular schedule of 6:30 a.m.
“About half of our stuff was taken offline, and so we moved everything perishable into the two [walk-in freezers] that were still working,” Brous said. “We were brewing coffee at some of our other locations and selling food that didn’t need to be toasted or heated.”
Properties on the block owned by Student Agencies, which include 17 residential apartments in the 409-415 stretch of College Avenue, were also affected by the outage.
According to the NYSEG website, 272 area customers as of Friday morning were without power. At around 1:30 p.m., the service’s website no longer listed any outages in Tompkins County.
According to the National Weather Service, Ithaca experienced a Thursday filled with light rain and breeze, but there were no warnings of extreme weather. Wind speeds ranged from 14 miles per hour Thursday morning, to a high of 38 mph in the afternoon. The rain was expected to continue through Thursday night with a northeast wind of approximately 15-20 mph.
Meghna Maharishi ’22 and Nicole Zhu ’21 contributed reporting to this story.
This story has been updated.