Manhole covers explode, no electricity, but pharmacy stays open

7:33 AM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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Each manhole cover weighs 110 pounds

ATLANTA -- The rupture of an underground electric power cable is blamed by Georgia Power for explosions Monday night that rocked Broad Street near MLK in Downtown Atlanta, blowing five manhole covers high into the air.

There were no injuries but power to businesses along Broad Street was lost and crews worked into the night to restore it.

Despite no heat and no lights, one business kept its doors wide open. Manhole covers are open, repair trucks are everywhere, streets are blocked, but Miller's Pharmacy won't give up and won't shut its doors.

With 15,000 items stacked high on every wall, and customers coming in or ordering online from a huge variety of tonics, liniments and drugs, owner Richard Miller won't let exploding manhole covers and the loss of electricity shut him down.

"There is only one light bulb. There's no heat. But after 48 years, Millers is staying open and not going anywhere," Miller said. "We are going to stick with it even though our windows are a little rattled and broken, and its dark and we will be here if people want to come.

Georgia Power says a cable failure between two manholes resulted in a fire, causing underground pressure to blow the manhole covers high into the air.

Patrick Myers was standing just a few feet away.

"I saw smoke coming out of the ground, and then I smelled the gas and all of a sudden, boom!" Myers said.

When Miller got to the pharmacy Tuesday morning he said he wouldn't let anything get in the way of opening up.

"Serving my customers, light or no light, heat or no heat, they depend on me so I am here for them," Miller added.

Georgia Power hooked up a power cord to a small truck generator so Miller could use a computer and have one light.

But that wasn't going to work.

So the Help Desk teamed up with Home Depot to get Miller high powered flashlights and headlamps so he could make his way to the back of the store and to his storeroom to get everything he needed and fill all the orders.

Until the lights come back on, Miller's Pharmacy continues very much in business.

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