Local Businesses Scramble to Save Goods During Power Outage

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Nothing says the holidays like a brilliant red Poinsettia.

"That's what people are looking for, so that's what we're pushing this time of year," said Karen Smith, whose husband owns Smith's Floral Shop.

So it's no surprise when the power went out around noon Sunday, preserving the plant was priority at the shop.

"What we have here is a tropical plant that we're bringing in to our northern climate, obviously they need a lot of moisture, a lot of humidity, and the temperature obviously can't go below a certain point," said Dave Wilson, greenhouse manager.

Within just an hour the greenhouse temperature can drop from the optimal 70 degrees to 50 -- not giving them much time to act.

"We were moving pretty fast," Smith said.

It was a scramble moving hundreds of Poinsettias out of the greenhouse. But within an hour and a half of power going out,, it came back on.

"We have redundancies within our system so we're actually able to route customers to another circuit and that's what we did," said BWL Communications Manager Mark Nixon.

The BWL says the outage wasn't weather-related.

"For reasons we're still unsure about one of our sub-stations in our Eckert power plant broke down," said Nixon. "It tripped off a lot of customers, almost 15,00 customers."

The outage affected parts of Downtown Lansing, East Lansing, Frandor, and Lansing's west side.

"Tthis is when having friends and family members and neighbors and staff willing to pull together to do something that's not a whole lot of fun really pays off," Smith said.

After moving nearly three-quarters of the Poinsettias out of the greenhouse, they moved them back in. It was a lot of work, they said, but better than risking damage to their customers' seasonal favorite.

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