Businesses hiccup amid blackouts

The power outages that had lights blinking and computers flickering sidetracked downtown employees, who appeared to take it all in stride during the sunny afternoon.

During the intermittent outages, workers poured out of buildings as fire alarms went off and elevators shut down. At 425 Market St., sprinklers soaked workspaces on one level after a blown transformer on Mission Street activated the system, according to fire officials.

Online businesses were affected as well as 365 Main Inc., which runs large data centers for companies including Craigslist.org. 365 Main lost its hosting capabilities during the outages. Six Apart, proprietor of LiveJournal.com and Yelp.com, was also affected.

Leslie Neely, manager of the Mel’s Diner at Fourth and Mission streets,said the restaurant was closed for an hour between 3 and 4 p.m.

“It was not fun,” she said of the outages. “We couldn’t cook. Electricity is just necessary for a restaurant.”

An employee of building management at the Metreon — directly across Fourth Street from Mel’s Diner — said they did not experience any outages during the afternoon.

Todd Falduti, general manager of Westfield San Francisco Centre, said the mall was not evacuated during the outages and that business continued “as usual.”

Bloomingdale’s spokeswoman Corinne Saunders said the cash registers stayed online and bathrooms had lights. The food court at Westfield went black for 10 minutes, but customers remained calm and did not panic, she added.

The W Hotel experienced outages and Ali Dishman, who is staying at the hotel, said that after she had finished her workout on the first floor, she had to take the stairs up to her room — on the 31st floor. “I didn’t want to risk being stuck.”

dsmith@examiner.com

Staff Writers B.W. Liou and Kate Williamson contributed to this report.

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