Pocatello Power Outage: An Explanation

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Updated: 7/15/2013 11:46 am
A power outage Wednesday in Pocatello left as many as 14,000 without power for hours during a particularly hot afternoon. There were many traffic lights that were out as well as a small brush fire that was started near the scene of what people are saying was a blown transformer. Steven Muse with Idaho Power took me through the situation.

Muse explained that, “What took place was a distribution neutral went into a transmission line which caused a catastrophic failure of one of our transformers at our Freemont substation. Once that took place, several of our other substations also went into a cascading failure situation and next thing you know we have 14,000 people without power.”

Muse had these tips for consumers to feel empowered when there’s a power outage.

He said that,” Having a flashlight, having candles, having a clock that doesn’t rely on electricity (battery-operated). The same with a radio or cell phone. Having dried food and a manual operated can opener. Those sorts of things, things that you can have that don’t rely on power so that when the power goes out, your life will be in a situation where you feel like you’re still sustained.

While you can be prepared when an outage strikes, the kind that occurred Wednesday was an anomaly.

“This is one of those unusual conditions that happened. There’s nothing that we could have done to prevent it or predict it,” Muse Said.

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