Black Friday at the Port Clinton, Ohio Walmart was a sudden and totally unexpected blackout experience. Approximately 400 customers had to be evacuated by police departments, the Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Highway Patrol and others because the store has no backup generators and all areas were dark including the parking lot. Thus an orderly evacuation was critical so that there would be no panic or injuries.
This outage occurred at 11:43 p.m. when 20-year-old Joanna M. Fifer lost control of her 2010 Chevy Colorado on Ohio 163, drove off the road, hit a culvert, and then sheared a utility pole in half. This caused electric lines to cross the road, and Ohio 163 was closed for three hours. Fifer took a breath test that resulted in a 0.205 percent blood-alcohol content (the legal limit is 0.08 percent) and was charged with drunken driving.
This crash also cut power to homes and other businesses in the area, so other Black Friday sales were also affected.
This Walmart store was able to reopen at 2:00 a.m., and the customers went happily back inside to find their shopping carts. They had put their names on the carts and were able to proceed to buy great bargains!