'We're talking tens of thousands of dollars:' Power outages force grocery store to throw out food

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Power outages impacted businesses across the area and many remained closed on Thursday, Aug. 12.

After 36 hours without power, the lights finally came back on in Metcalfe's grocery store Thursday morning, but it was too late to save most of the refrigerated and frozen food.

"We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars," said Lisa Grudzielanek, the assistant director of operations at Metcalfe's. "It’s a hefty number."

Grudzielanek says they did bring in two refrigerated trailers to save some things but there wasn't nearly enough space.

"The challenging thing with this power outage is all along we’ve been clinging to when is it gonna come on, when is it gonna come on?" Grudzielanek said. "And we weren’t getting any updates from We Energies."

We Energies says it was difficult to estimate restoration times because of the widespread outages.

"Today we’re trying to make that right with this global communication, making sure everyone knows that Saturday by noon we’ll have all customers back on," said Tom Metcalfe, president of We Energies. "And 95 percent on by the end of the day tomorrow."

Along North Avenue in Wauwatosa, many businesses remain closed, citing the power outage.

Metro Market on State Street reopened Thursday but did not have frozen or refrigerated foods.

Metcalfe's plans to reopen Friday morning.

"Today is a day of basically cleaning up house, pulling all the product that is no longer able to be sold and reordering and beginning to restock the store this evening," Grudzielanek said.

Metcalfe's says they won't have everything fully stocked when they reopen Friday, but they hope to be close to back to normal this weekend.

They are looking into getting a generator to prevent this in the future.

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