Equipment failure causes power outageEquipment failure at a Montana Dakota Utilities substation left about 1,500 Dickinson customers without power after an outage Wednesday evening, officials said.
By: Klark Byrd, The Dickinson Press
Equipment failure at a Montana Dakota Utilities substation left about 1,500 Dickinson customers without power after an outage Wednesday evening, officials said.
MDU Spokesperson Mark Hanson said that electricity was not available for about an hour and that the cause of equipment failure at a substation northwest of town was unknown.
“Any equipment that works over time can just break down,” he said. “It wasn’t anything specific.”
Residences and businesses were affected along State Avenue, Villard Street and Third Avenue West, Hanson said.
West River Community Center Facilities Manager Matt Mack said the pools were cleared and patrons were unable to use most of the exercise equipment.
“We turned people away,” Mack said, adding that it was during a busy time and they were unable to sell daily passes. “We were lucky that most people came back after the power came back.”
Jack’s Family Restaurant owner Jack Wandler said the business had to shut down a little early to deal with the outage. He turned off breakers to the coolers as a precaution.
“Sometimes when the power comes on it is not full strength right away and it can kind of short cycle them (cooling units),” Wandler said. “It can do serious damage to them.”
Wandler added that it would take a few hours without power to cause concern about refrigeration of food.
“Lucky for most people, it didn’t stay off too long,” he said.
Getting power back to the customers depends on the situation, Hanson said. Electricity comes in to a transmission line at a high voltage and is reduced to a distribution system within Dickinson, Hanson said, adding that sometimes power can be rerouted to service customers.
The substation equipment was fixed Thursday, Hanson said.