FirstEnergy blames the outages on separate incidents involving the same transmission line

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GRAND RIVER -- Sam Darowich likely speaks for hundreds of Lake County small businesses people.

They've been hit with power outages on consecutive weekends.

Darowich said "Saturday, Sunday. They're our best days, when we make our money."

FirstEnergy blames the outages on separate incidents involving the same transmission line.

Brutal weather and salt vapor are being called possible factors.

Darowich says: "We tried to contact the company Saturday. There was no answer. We were left up in the air."

He claims FirstEnergy should do a better job of maintaining its equipment.

"To not maintain all this is wrong. ... To me, it's a loss of money. They're not going to give me 20 percent off my bill," Darowich said.

FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin apologizes to all the inconvenienced customers.

"Sorry doesn't mean anything," Darowich said.

He has about 30 workers at two restaurants who live paycheck to paycheck.

Waitress Jessie Keeney said, "This is how we pay our bills. If we don't have customers, it's hard."

FirstEnergy is in the midst of a $4.2 billion upgrade of its entire transmission system. The money will come from higher customer bills.

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