CLEVELAND (WJW) – One of Cleveland’s iconic landmarks was plunged into darkness for hours on Saturday.
The trouble started early Saturday morning at the West Side Market on West 25th Street in Cleveland.
“It’s one of the best public markets in the world and it’s really, it’s an honor to sell there. It’s just that lately it’s been a lot, uh, a lot of trouble, “said Tom McIntyre, owner of Kate’s Fish. “The power was cut at 1:30 am this morning. No one, including the president of our tenants association, was notified until, you know, people came in for their shifts to open the stores.
“They came to tell us that it shouldn’t take too long. It probably resumed around 7:30 am, ”said Tara Hunter, sales associate at Dionne’s Poultry.
But it didn’t last long. Vendors said the power turned on and off several times as businesses rushed to collect their perishable goods.
“Some people had to haul stuff down in the basement to make sure what could be saved, can be saved,” Hunter said.
She said that in those dark days, money was king at Dionne, who has been in the market for more than two decades.
“Saturday is definitely the busiest day of the week. Lots of money on the table, lots of lost income. We’re definitely going to lose product because of it, ”Hunter said.
McIntyre said they were concerned about the reliability of the power supply and shut down. But not everyone chose to close.
“Honestly, we are all still recovering from this pandemic. We’re just trying to get back on our feet, ”Hunter said.
Power finally returned around noon, 11 hours later. McIntyre said there is a generator, “But the refrigeration, the glycol system that keeps all of our cases cold and the coolers downstairs is not connected to that generator.”
McIntyre said there were also issues with the infrastructure, plumbing and general maintenance of the building, which is owned by the City of Cleveland.
“But now, with a lame mayor and the whole public works power structure that runs the market on the way… We don’t stand a chance that things will be settled in due time now.”
Several mayoral candidates took the opportunity to make campaign promises.
Cleveland Council Chairman Kevin Kelley tweeted, “Every Cleveland Public Power customer should expect reliable service. The new path to CPP begins on day one ”
Former United States Representative and former Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich also wrote on Twitter: “When I am mayor, the West Side Market will have a back-up generator.
And nonprofit leader Justin Bibb released a video statement saying, in part, “When I serve as mayor, it will be an immediate priority to ensure our residents and suppliers get the management and leadership they deserve.”
But the sellers said they had to act now.
“Just make sure our business is running. That’s all we ask, ”said Hunter. McIntyre eventually said they need a generator for their refrigerated cases and believes the city should no longer be running the market.
We have contacted the city for a comment or a statement, but have not received a response.
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