Power has been restored to most Gainesville locations
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Power has been restored to a large swath of Gainesville that had been without electricity for nearly an hour.
Around 7,971 customers lost power around 5 p.m., Gainesville Regional Utilities spokeswoman Amelia Bell said. By 6:20 p.m., power had been restored to almost all customers, she said.
The reason for the outage was unclear, she said, but it occurred at the Kelly Plant substation in downtown Gainesville. Power went out in an area stretching roughly from Hawthorne Road to 34th Street and from University Avenue to Archer Road, and also in much of east and downtown Gainesville.
Gainesville Police Department spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said that right after 5 p.m., police were alerted of a major power outage at GRU that knocked out more than 30 traffic lights across the city, many of them along University Avenue.
No information was available about any traffic accidents that might have been caused by the outages.
Power was out at buildings on the University of Florida campus and the surrounding area, according to reports.
Ewa Hughes, who works at Evolugate, a bioresearch company located at the Gainesville Enterprise Technology Center off 2153 Hawthorne Road, said she left the office around 4:40 p.m. and got a call shortly thereafter from co-workers saying the power went out in the building.
"We have years' worth of research in freezers," she said. "If we can't get the power back, we'll lose it."
Power was restored around 6 p.m., Hughes said.
"Looks like GRU came through," she said. "The power came back on and our freezer stock is safe."