Byers Market

Mike Jones

Byers Market owner Donald Arthur, seated in the center, chats with customers and workers, from left, Jamie Price, Nancy Wardell, Jody Ford and Neil McShaw, outside the convenience store on Connellsville Street in Uniontown while they wait for the electricity to return after widespread power outages were reported in the area Tuesday.

A widespread power outage in the Uniontown area caused traffic lights to go out and local businesses to halt operations for about three hours Tuesday.

The power outage started at 10:22 a.m. and affected an estimated 3,678 customers, including 2,475 in Uniontown, 279 in South Union Township and 608 in North Union Township, a Fayette County emergency dispatcher said.

Several traffic lights stopped working, and officials placed stop signs at some intersections to help prevent accidents from occurring.

An emergency dispatcher reported one accident at the intersection of Matthew Drive and West Main Street, but said no one was reported injured. The power returned shortly before 1:30 p.m.

Donald Arthur, owner of Byers Market, was just one of many business owners in the dark on Tuesday. He sat outside his Connellsville Street business with his staff, unable to operate the cash register or air conditioning, so he had to close the store. He estimated his loss to be close to $4,000.

In addition, Arthur said he received a delivery of food and beer for his store around noon, during the outage. He said if he could not keep the food and beer cool enough, he could lose them as well.

“We had to stuff the food into the freezers and hope that they will be alright,” he said. “It’s already getting warm in the coolers. The hot things are getting cold, the beer’s getting warm, and I’m losing money big time.”

Arthur, staff and shoppers at Byers Market sat outside to stay cool in the hot weather, while they waited for the power to return.

Workers could also be seen waiting outside the Fayette County Courthouse, which was also without power.

A spokesperson for West Penn Power said the outage occurred due to an equipment issue.

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