HINT: Call Cinergy, not 911, when the power goes out
- Power backup worked at jail
Ivy Herron photo
Cinergy/PSI crews quickly repaired damage to a jumper connection at the Brazil sub-station Thursday morning. The failure caused residents of Brazil, Staunton and surrounding areas to lose power for about 40 minutes. The failure is believed to have been caused by earlier lightning strikes.
With a flicker of lights and a loud boom, residents of Brazil, Staunton and surrounding areas lost power for about 40 minutes Thursday morning.
Cinergy/PSI District Manager Rick Burger said the problem occurred at the Brazil sub-station at the corner of Church and Depot streets. A jumper connection on a 69,000-volt line failed due to possible damage from lightning strikes from previous storms, causing the power outage at 10:45 a.m.
No power means no stoplights, which could have spelled disaster for local law enforcement.
Brazil City Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said motorists did a good job treating non-functioning stoplights as four-way stops. Patrolmen were out in force if needed, but no accidents were reported in the city.
The Clay County Sheriff's Department experienced a minor but frustrating problem as dispatchers handled numerous 911 calls from people reporting the outage.
Aware of the situation, dispatchers told callers not to make 911 calls during a power outage unless experiencing an actual emergency and directed them to contact Cinergy.
A telephone interview with Cinergy personnel Thursday afternoon confirmed this procedure.
"Law enforcement personnel will already know the power is out, but not much else," a Cinergy representative said. "Calls from customers help to determine the extent and area of the outage. We urge people to call in and let us know when there is an outage so we can respond quickly."
The power outage was a perfect time to check the backup systems to be used in this type of emergency at the new Clay County Jail. Officials from the Jail Transition Team report good news.
"Everything operated like it was supposed to," said Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton, who was in the building at the time. "We can check that off our list now."
The power flickered, then briefly went out for a moment at St. Vincent Clay Hospital, but according to hospital personnel it wasn't enough of a loss to kick on the generators at the facility.
Everything was pretty much normal at North Clay Middle School and Northview High School, which did loose power. The students participated in normal class routines, but lunch was delayed five minutes at Northview.
At 11:30 a.m., Burger told The Brazil Times on Thursday afternoon that service was back on for most customers and those still without power would have their service returned before noon.
As a precautionary measure, technicians had to slowly reload the system after the outage in an attempt not to overload any other circuits.