Roanoke businesses turn to candles, calculators to stay open during power outage


Despite widespread power outages caused by Sunday’s storm, many businesses on Williamson Road in Roanoke stayed open.

For much of the afternoon, Worldwide Food Market was nearly pitch dark inside with a single candle burning. Owner Sovann Soun says she stayed open for a single reason.

“Because some of my customers, they need something,” she said.

With no register to rely on, Soun had to add up prices on a calculator and take only cash.

One of her best customers, Danny Zongker, says he doesn’t mind shopping by flashlight, and is glad to be able to pick up meatballs for dinner.

“Even the light come out, she’s still open…And I’m surprised, you know, when I come in and a couple of customers after me- and she looks busy today. I’m happy for her,” he said.

If take a short drive down Williamson Road – being mindful of the out-of-service traffic lights, of course – you’ll soon get to Papa D’s restaurant, where you’ll see much of the same: candles lighting the room, but devoted customers toughing it out.

Bartender Debbie Hodge says many coming right after the power went out.

“Yeah, everybody started coming to see what’s going on! So I’ve got a good little crowd, and we’re just hanging by a few candles, just trying to make it work until the power comes back on,” she said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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