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Blackout At Massapequa Shopping Center Keeps Businesses In The Dark

Parking lot construction blows transformer powering businesses along Sunrise Highway.

A blown electrical transformer caused by parking lot construction in a shopping center on Sunrise Highway brought business there to a partial standstill for several hours on Tuesday.

Eric Anto, manager of the , said the transformer located behind his establishment burst at about 11am that morning.

"It's real simple- the power just went out," he said. "There was a little explosion...in the back we have a pole, and the wires just burst, and blew off the pole."

Anto said that response to the incident by authorities was swift.

"Fire trucks and police came," he said. "Now LIPA [Long Island Power Authority] is back there taking care of it. I called their office and they said they should have the power back on between two and three o'clock."

LIPA employee Jeff Waunsch said some nearby construction in the parking lot was responsible for the blackout.

"Some contractors were digging a hole over by PETCO," he said. "They ended up hitting an underground wire, and when they hit the wire it blew a fuse, and the transformer on the pole behind Olive Garden went."

While the blown fuse initially affected the entire left side of the shopping center, including , , ,  and , among others, Waunsch said that most of the power was quickly restored.

Judith Monroe and her daughter Beth were sitting in their car in front of the Olive Garden located at 5598 Sunrise Highway, waiting for the darkened restaurant to re-open. It wasn't exactly how they were planning on spending their midday. l

"Of course, the day we decide to go to Olive Garden for lunch, this has to happen," she said. "But we're waiting...their food is worth it."

The contractors responsible for the blackout were still toiling away with a backhoe in the same hole that housed the very power cable they had damaged. Their foreman declined to comment on the incident or identify the company's name.

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