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Local News

July 2, 2013

Power outage causes Duncan Power to look for preventative measures

DUNCAN — Duncan Power is assessing what it can do to prevent more power outages, like the one around 70 customers experienced Thursday night.

During that outage, many of those customers were without electricity from 10 p.m. Thursday until 11 a.m. Friday. Duncan Power Director David Yeager said the outage was caused by underground cable failing, which might have been the result of age.

“That’s what started the whole thing,” Yeager said. “We had some other cable fail. Some of our equipment failed because of the heat. We just had Murphy’s Law kick in on us.”

He said his workers stuck to the task to restore power to those homes. He said there were several instances where the fix didn’t quite work, which made the problem persist.

Yeager said the outage couldn’t be avoided because the underground cables don’t give into heat. He said things just couldn’t be resolved through typical measures because the heat was causing additional issues.

“We had our best guys working on it,” Yeager said. “Everything we touched seemed to break. It was just one of those things.”

He said there have been discussion within Duncan City Hall as to what Duncan Power can do to avoid further outages. Yeager said Duncan Power will be looking for preventative measures it and its employees can take to reduce the risk of future outages, especially this summer.

Among the preventative measures is reducing heat on the equipment and learning from other outages.

“When you get into a situation when equipment gets hot and has some age, there’s potential for it to fail,” Yeager said. “We are keeping an eye on it. We don’t anticipate any imminent failures.”

Yeager said underground cable is popular among customers because there are no power lines to look at and there is less chance for damage caused by an ice storm. But underground cable can also add to the time it takes to restore electricity.

And if Thursday’s outage was a lesson to Duncan Power workers, the lesson would probably have the employees looking closer at the equipment in use.

“It was a very challenging outage,” Yeager said.

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