Tuesday's Power Outage Caused by Failed Arrestor
Published October 11, 2012 4:04pm by
A failed lightning arrestor was identified as the culprit of Tuesday morning power outage in portions of Seminole, including the town's downtown/business district.
"A lightning arrestor in the City Substation failed, which caused a line to burn and drop just outside the substation," wrote Wes Reeves, with Xcel Energy's Media Relations Dept. in a Tuesday afternoon e-mail to the Seminole Sentinel.
The outage, which occurred around the 10 a.m. hour Tuesday morning, affected 507 Xcel Energy customers for 63 minutes, according to company officials.
Xcel's City Substation is located in the 100 block of S.W. Ave. E, directly west of the Black Diamond Inn.
"All the connections and the arrestor were replaced, but a cause of the arrestor failure is unknown," said Reeves.
Tuesday's outage prompted the temporary closure of the Gaines County Courthouse until 1 p.m. that afternoon, while many businesses in the affected areas were somewhat brought to a stand still.
Genia Jenkins, owner of Jenkins TV in the 100 block of S.W. Ave. C, said Tuesday's outage prevented the local movie rental, UPS shipping and tanning business from running at full operation.
"We had to go back to our old, manual way of doing movie rentals, but we couldn't process anything out (for UPS) or operate the tanning beds," she said. "I wasn't real tickled about (the outage), but there was nothing we could do."
Seminole City Administrator Tommy Phillips stated operations at Seminole City Hall was also limited to the power outage, but that the facility remained open for operations during the short outage.
"For those customers who came in to pay their bill, we stayed there to take those payments," said Phillips. "We just couldn't process them in our computers. We had to wait until the power came back up for us to do that part (of bill collections)."
Tuesday's outage also played havoc on those local residents who
A lightning arrester is a device used on electrical power systems and telecommunications systems to protect the insulation and conductors of the system from the damaging effects of lightning. The typical lightning arrester has a high-voltage terminal and a ground terminal. When a lightning surge (or switching surge, which is very similar) travels along the power line to the arrester, the current from the surge is diverted through the arrestor, in most cases to earth.
If protection fails or is absent, lightning that strikes the electrical system introduces thousands of kilovolts that may damage the transmission lines, and can also cause severe damage to transformers and other electrical or electronic devices. Lightning-produced extreme voltage spikes in incoming power lines can damage electrical home appliances.