Lights back on after downtown blackout

BRADENTON -- Electric power has been restored to all but a handful of customers in downtown after a downed power pole caused a blackout, according to Florida Power & Light.

Many offices, including the County Administration Building, the police department and City Hall lost power.

Tim McCann, spokesman for the city of Bradenton, said the problem originated about 12:30 p.m. at a power pole that blew down near Theresa's Restaurant, 608 14th St. W.

"It started a small fire back there," McCann said of the power pole.

Police Chief Michael Radzilowski called in off-duty police officers to help direct traffic, McCann said.

"People need to treat those as stop signs," McCann said of the darkened traffic lights.

The 9-1-1 system in the county and in Bradenton are working properly. The system did crash for a few seconds in Bradenton while the computer rebooted, said a police department dispatch supervisor.

A caller reported traffic lights on Manatee Avenue came back on about 1:30 p.m., after an outage of more than a hour.