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Update: Tri-Cities power outage in 90+ temperatures shuts down businesses, restaurants

A power outage left 7,800 homes and businesses in Kennewick without electricity for hours Saturday, causing businesses to close and the cancellation of at least one Mother’s Day brunch.

A food bank also lost freezers full of perishables.

The Tri-Cities temperature reached 93 degrees on Saturday, which was 17 degrees above normal.

Power went out sometime after 2 p.m. in downtown and southeast Kennewick, according to the Benton Public Utility District.

At 5:45 power had been restored to about 3,800 PUD customers and by 8 p.m. electricity was restored to all customers.

The PUD said the outage was due to Bonneville Power Administration equipment that affected its transmission system.

On Monday BPA provided more information, saying its Franklin-Badger Canyon No. 2 line tripped at 2:05 p.m., interrupting some service to Benton PUD.

Repairs were then needed on a feeder line to Benton PUD, which were completed about 7:40 p.m.

Clover Island Inn was among the last customers to have power restored and announced it was canceling its Mother’s Day Brunch.

It was concerned that food bought and prepared for its Sunday event was not kept cold enough and was concerned about potential food-borne illness.

“This is not a risk we are willing to take,” it posted on social medial. “ We hope you understand and accept our apology.”

Responses were sympathetic, even as people scrambled to make other plans.

“What a bummer! But honestly — thank you for putting Safety first!!!” posted one person.

“Let’s try for Father’s Day!” posted another.

The Family Resource Center of the Tri-Cities, with three freezers and three refrigerators for its food bank, said after power was restored that it had nearly $1,000 worth of food thaw.

It would be tossed, it said on social media.

The temperature got to 95 degrees inside its office, posted the nonprofit, which provides help to low income families and to individuals with special needs.

Another person posted that her cousin’s wedding at the Benton County Fairgrounds had no power as of nearly 7 p.m.

El Chapala Mexican restaurant in downtown posted that it was “sad to lose customers due to this outage. Really affected our business!”

The Branding Iron Nightclub in downtown Kennewick usually opens at 5 p.m. on Saturday, but could not open until after 8 p.m. Saturday with Badlandz booked to start performing at 8 p.m.

“We are open! Band is here, beer is still cold and food is ready to be cooked! Come hang with us! No cover!,” it posted shortly before 9 p.m.

Although the problem was with the equipment of BPA, which supplies power to Benton PUD, PUD crews were providing any help it could to BPA to restore power,

During the outage, it advised customers not to open their refrigerator or freezer. The contents should be good for 24 hours if the door is kept closed, it said.

The Benton Franklin Health District posts guidance for an action plan on its website to help businesses selling food prepare for power outages and provides examples of when food can still be sold or must be cooked or discarded.