Nearly two weeks after a power outage in the town of Vevay lasted nearly 22 hours, the Vevay IGA reopened its doors to customers on Wednesday morning after a tentative plan was approved to maintain the store’s insurance.
IGA owner Eric Rabe had closed the store after he was told by his insurance carrier that his insurance would be dropped due to the number of claims that had been generated by the Vevay store.
Rabe said that poor line maintenance and other issues by Duke Energy has led to several outages at the store, which has led to the loss of a lot of perishable inventory, which led to the number of claims. With last week’s power outage resulting in nearly $70,000 in loss, it was more than the insurance company was willing to continue with.
So, without insurance, Rabe said that there was no way he could reopen the store.
That began a series of discussions around the town and county; and after some negotiations with the insurance company and a pledge from Duke that it is undertaking a detailed evaluation into how future outages can be prevented, it was decided that the store would reopen.
Rabe said that health officials went through the store on Tuesday night, and it reopened to the public at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
“I got enough information that it’s going to cause my deductible to be higher and my insurance is going to be higher; and then I have to have this action plan from Duke,” Rabe said. “I told them (the insurance company) what I thought would be in it, and nothing is for certain until they get the action plan from Duke.”
Rabe said that Duke officials have told him that the action plan will not be available until next week.
“I just couldn’t wait any longer,” Rabe said of reopening. “The employees needed to know what was going on. I still insurance through the 15th, so even if something happened, I’m covered. I think that with everything going on, that Duke is going to do the right thing for the community to trim the lines and get the loop worked out and things like that.”
And Rabe feels good that he’s going to be able to reopen here.
“I’m happy that we’re opening. I’m happy for the employees,” he said. “I’m happy for the community that we are able to do it. We’ll be the same five-star store with almost all of the same employees. Everybody’s pumped up.”