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Power Outage Costing Business Owners Thousands

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Many businesses were affected by last Saturday's heavy storms, including Gregory Boat Company. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

Many businesses were affected by last Saturday’s heavy storms, including Gregory Boat Company. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – With some area homes and businesses going on a fifth day without power, some business owners fear their store will become a target for thieves and some fear the damage will cause big problems for this weekend’s events.

WWJ’s Ron Dewey spoke with Aol Duschi, the owner of Universal Coney Island, located along Fort Street near Dragoon, who has been without power since Saturday night. He said he has lost $10,000 in business and another $12,000 in food gone bad. He added that he’s not getting any satisfaction from DTE Energy.

“I called them one million times and they say we go by the number of population,” Duschi said. “I go, who cares about our businesspeople around here? If I don’t pay $3,000 light in a month, you wanna come and cut my power, but not when I’m losing over $20,000 in sales and food, nobody cares about me, or about the guy next door, or about this guy right here,” Duschi said.

Duschi’s been standing guard in front of his business around the clock to ward off thieves. A truck stop right next door that should have had a parking lot full of 18-wheelers was deserted. No electricity, no fuel pumps, no business as trucks roll by.

Duschi wasn’t the only business owner affected by Saturday’s storms.  WWJ’s Vickie Thomas spoke to Dan Miller, service manager for Gregory Boat Company.  Located on East Jefferson on Detroit’s east side, the boat company’s huge showroom windows were apparently blown out by straight line winds last Saturday.

“We believe it was the wind because it triggered the alarm the night of the storm,” said Miller.  “Then we came in and found them all shattered.”

Power was also knocked out by the storm, according to Miller.  He said that because the boat company is in the recreational business industry, it was the July 4 holiday weekend, and with more summer boating events on the way, the result of the storm may cut into their profits.  Miller said they have only partially recovered.

“Part of our showroom has power, but our sales office, service office, parts department, and all the boat wells and our fuel dock do not have power,” said Miller.

As a result of the fuel dock not having power, Miller said nobody in the marina can gas up their boat and go out.

“Refrigerators aren’t staying cool,” he said, “So they lost their food and we can’t do service work on some boats because we don’t have power to run equipment.”

Miller hopes things are back to normal by the weekend.  His company would like to take advantage of the extra foot traffic tied to The APBA Gold Cup hydroplane boat races on the Detroit River.

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