Blog Archive

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Little Storm - Big Power Outage

If you are one of the many who follow our Twitter feed at this link or our Facebook page at this link you already know what happened last night. In fact, if you have our Twitter feed going to your cell phone, you got our updates as the outage unfolded. If you are not taking advantage of these services, then this will give you some information about what happened last night.

About 10:00 p.m. a burst of wind, or a lightning strike, caused a large tree, several dozen feet away from our transmission line just south of town on 31E, to fall toward the transmission line which also carries one of FRECC's distribution circuits. Since we had 90% of the town switched to feed from this line as part of our abnormal configuration during the construction of our new primary substation, when that tree tripped out that transmission line, 90% of our customers were in the dark.

We knew this was a risk when we decided to build the new substation and to reconfigure our network to allow its construction. It is just like major construction on the interstates. We all hate the reduced speed limits and the endless ocean of orange barrels and concrete barriers, but it sure is wonderful when the work is done. Such will be the case after November when East Glasgow Primary is energized and serving our community. But, until then, we are going to be constantly aware that falling trees can wreak havoc on our lives here in Glasgow.

Last night our team found the tree and, in concert with FRECC folks, got it cut up and removed from the transmission line, allowing us to restore all power in about 90 minutes from when the tree fell. Some of our customers were back in service sooner as we found a way to re-route power to about half of the city by about 11:00.

Again, if you will click on the links above and sign up to receive our Facebook and Twitter updates, you will know about these events as they happen! Thanks for your understanding and confidence in us as we work to create an electric power network which will serve our community very well for many years into the future.

At about noon on Thursday, 3,000 EPB customers experienced another outage when an undetected wiring problem at Front Street Substation resulted in a circuit breaker trip during a maintenance operation. We were doing this during extreme weather, just to make doubly sure that the system would hold after reconfiguring several things during the Wednesday night outage. Hindsight is 20/20 and now we wish we had just left everything alone until early Friday morning, but, we took a chance and it bit 3,000 of our customers as a result. We are very sorry and will learn from this mistake. Everyone was back in service within an hour, but even that was a major inconvenience that we are sorry to have caused.


jrb8185 said...

thanks for keeping us updated via twitter - great to get info and know the issue was being worked, with estimates on how long it would be until service could be restored. Good stuff!