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Tag Archive | "power line"

Distribution wire burns, causes power outage


Scorched pavement in the Family Farm and Home parking lot.

Burn damage to the concrete from the downed electrical wire.

Yellow tape reading “high voltage” cordoning off the scene.

By Judy Reed

Arcing and sparking. Burned wire. Scorched concrete and asphalt. Yellow tape reading “high voltage” cordoning off the scene. That was the scene at Family Farm Home on Tuesday morning after a power line came down in the parking lot at 11:20 a.m. in front of the store and knocked out power to almost 5,600 customers in the greater Cedar Springs area.

A couple of readers said it looked like a fireworks display. Kent County Sheriff Deputy Todd Frank said it sounded like someone welding. He was sitting in his patrol car typing up a crash report that had occurred on 17 Mile near Independent Bank when he heard the sound. “I thought, ‘who the heck would be welding over there?’” he said. “I quickly drove over and saw the arcing and sparking, and the wire falling down.”

Deputy Frank said that the wire came down into the plants in the front of the building and burned holes in the concrete.

“It’s lucky no one got hurt. There were people coming out of the store,” he explained. “It’s a good thing I was here. Some people wanted to drive over the wires to leave. We had people exit through the back of the store.”

Both the CS Fire Department and Consumers Energy responded to the scene.

According to Roger Morgenstern, with Consumers Energy, a distribution wire came down and burned up. “The substation knew something was wrong and did its job and tripped off,” he explained. “We’re still investigating but it may have been the improper operation of equipment connecting the (higher voltage) substation to the downstream distribution wires that you saw burned up,” he told the Post.

Morgenstern said that 4,121 customers were restored at 12:59 p.m. after the problem was found. The remaining 1,472 customers, mostly west of White Creek, were restored by 2:09 p.m., after a new wire was put up.

This was the third widespread power outage in the area since March that was not due to a storm. On March 6, a turkey flew into a power line near Algoma Ave, and in the beginning of May, a squirrel got into the Cedar Springs substation and caused an outage.

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