SF Explosion Shuts Down Businesses
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
January 25, 2013 5:06 PM
Dozens of businesses, left without power, closed their doors Friday following the early morning explosion.
Usually people and businesses look forward to Friday, the last day of the workweek before a weekend of relaxation, but for some businesses this morning coming into work, without power was something they never expected.
Downtown Sioux Falls, is usually a busy site in the mornings, you could see people walking to work, eating at various restaurants, or shopping, but Friday morning, the city looked like a ghost town.
Dozens of signs hung in business doorways that said, closed due to power outage and closed until electricity is back.
For Mark Gillespie, General Manager of the Phillips Avenue Diner downtown, he said his day took a turn for the worse when the early morning underground explosion, stopped his business from operating.
"Pretty negatively, being that we're closed," said Gillespie.
Gillespie said he's holding onto the hope that Excel will figure out how to turn the power back on soon, but while crews are barring the cold, trying to figure out what caused the unexpected boom, Gillespie and his team are working to stay positive.
"Trying to be productive and proactive while we're closed and doing whatever we can to get re-opened as soon as possible," said Gillespie.
Kaladi's Coffee Legend & Bistro Downtown is another business affected by the explosion; the early riser hotspot usually opens its doors at 6:45 in the morning.
"We basically just had to keep the doors locked and not open and wait until we heard word from excel energy," said Erika Lyle, Kaladi’s Manager.
Word came nearly three hours later; they finally opened their doors for business at 10a.m.
"We lost out a little bit, but back in action," said Lyle.
While the Phillips Avenue Diner hopes to be back in action soon too,
Gillespie says they'll STAY posted at the restaurant, to answer questions for hungry people wanting to dine.
"We're staying here just for the presence of our customers. Just let them know the situation and we're trying to resolve it as quickly as possible," said Gillespie.
Not only are businesses affected, some people that live downtown, are left without power and no warm place to sleep Friday night.
The Red Cross has set up cots for people to use their shelter if needed.
Officials have asked people to steer clear of downtown to reduce the amount of traffic around the areas where crews are working around the clock to restore power.