Renarts employees thought their dark days were over when power was restored to Jericho Turnpike in East Northport Monday, but no such luck. An hour after LIPA contract crews came in and fixed some downed wires, manager Chase Ceparano switched on the lights and got a bit of a shock.
"The lights started smoking and sparks started coming out of them. We quickly shut everything down in the hopes that it didn't fry our entire electrical system," he said Wednesday.
Employees immediately shut down all lights and computers and called an electrician who, after an inspection, advised them that the "fix" was wrong and created a hazard. You can see a YouTube video of the inspection here.
"Someone reversed the wires on the poles," the electrician says in the video. "Whatever is on that leg is now fried completely. You sent 220 volts through it."
Ceparano said they've been calling LIPA since Monday. On Wednesday at 4 p.m., less than an hour after Patch left the store, LIPA crews arrived to remedy the situation. Damage to the main server was already done however, and the lights, HVAC and office machines may have also been affected, according to management.
"Seventeen days with no power in a retail environment isn't the best thing in the world," said Ceparano. Ceparano added that he was concerned that the power outage may have affected a Saturday charity collection event that the store is holding for Hurricane Sandy victims, though now it will hopefully go off without a hitch.