Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday power outage result of KCPL feed

July 10, 2008

Fireworks were flying Friday in Baldwin City, but the electrical system fizzled with a two-hour outage around 5 p.m.

The finger is - once again - pointed at KCPL for the cause.

Tim Croucher, lead lineman of the utility crew, responded to the outage around 4:52 p.m. He explained what happened to the city council at Monday's meeting.

"I got a call from Rob (Culley, power plant foreman) at 5 p.m. The main line had gone out," said Croucher. "They lost Ottawa, Wellsville, Baldwin City and most of the surrounding area.

"We cranked the engines up (at the power plant) and got most of the town back up," he said. "But, the load was too much to get everything up and it kicked the engines off."

Culley had been in contact with KCPL from the beginning. Initially, he had been told it would take two to three hours to correct the problem. That's why the decision was made to start Baldwin City's generators.

The loads from the northeast and northwest parts of town were the problem with the loads that knocked the engines down, he said. The crew was going to go trip some of the breakers to reduce the load, but KCPL called and said they had the problem corrected and power would be restored shortly.

At 7:02 p.m., the outage was over after two hours and eight minutes.

"KCPL's explanation of the outage was a burnt jumper wire somewhere on the south Ottawa feeder," said Curley. "Due to high loads, KCPL had tied us back to south Ottawa sometime during the weekend to try and stabilize the feeder."

While residents are used to outages, especially during the dog days of summer, the latest version taught a new lesson.

"When power goes off, it's better to turn things off," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman.

That's especially true of air conditioning. The high loads created by demand is what knocked the engines down and prevented a quicker end to the outage. Croucher said it's best to leave everything off for 20 to 30 minutes after power is restored.


havepower 9 years, 11 months ago

We lost power in Ottawa and finally decided to get our own emergency generator. The hardware store was out of generators, so my husband searched and found one at we should now have the power needed when the next unexpected outage comes. The generator will keep the lights on, food cold and our air conditioning working. Hopefully the generator will also keep our pump working.


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