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Fairmont suffers outage

July 12, 2012
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - A faulted feeder cable is to blame for leaving much of Fairmont in the dark for about an hour late Wednesday afternoon.

The power went off just after 4 p.m. and didn't come back on until just before 5.

"We tracked it down to a faulted feeder cable coming out of the plant; it tripped a breaker," said Marty Meixell, line superintendent for the city light department.

Feeder cables come off the main breakers in the plant, starting underground, then going up overhead, Meixell explained.

"When it faults, it gets a hole in it and shorts," he said. "We have to find that bad area before we put the power back on. If we try to put the power on [too soon], it would kick right back off and probably do damage. That's not a small amount of electricity; it's big amounts."

Once the problem was isolated, crews were able to restore power, but the job isn't done.

"We haven't fixed it yet," Meixell said. "We'll try to make repairs [today]."

Some people also had problems with their cell phones and cable television.

Meixell said cell phones work off tower sites and there is a tower site at the plant for Sprint.

"Probably why the cell phones weren't working," he said. "Cells need power to operate. Same with cable TV. They've got an amplifier on our system. When the amplifier goes out, it cuts the signal."



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