May 21—WATERTOWN — A failure in equipment at a substation resulted in a power outage Friday that affected more than 3,000 National Grid customers on and around Arsenal Street.
The outage started at around 1 p.m. and had cut the power to many stop lights and businesses on Arsenal Street. The power was restored at around 3 p.m., when crews were able to repair the equipment failure at National Grid's substation on Coffeen Street.
During the two-hour outage, many employees sat outside in the heat as their businesses closed for the time being. Others stayed open and offered to run inside and grab whatever items a customer needed. Samaritan Medical Center's power went out briefly before its generators came on and it got back to full power.
Neil Shi, who manages 1025 Ruyi Japanese Steak House Restaurant, was outside the place just standing along Arsenal Street, wondering what was going on as the entire street was blacked out. It was nearing 90 degrees outside but he said it was hotter inside. He had called power officials to ask about what was going on and he said they didn't know. Usually he receives a text message alert, but not this time.
"I've been here for 11 years and I've never seen something like this," he said. "It's crazy."
He said there were customers inside at the time of the outage who had to leave. Mr. Shi said he tried to give them free meals.
"Honestly we tried," he said. "But our customers are so nice. They know it's not our fault."
Their coolers and freezers can remain cold for five our six hours without power, so he was hoping the problem would be fixed by then.
"I don't know," he said. "We'll see."
After the outage started, he said around 50 customers tried to come dine at the steak house. He had to ask them to come back later.
"We cannot do business," he said. "Of course it hurts our business."
According to National Grid's online power outage map, power went out to 3,189 customers at about 1 p.m.
Power was also reported out along Arsenal, Coffeen and Massey streets, as well as on many southside streets. Power was also out in the area along Massey Street Road to North Harbor Road in Hounsfield.