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Power outage strikes Dickinson; lights restored quickly

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Residents in Dickinson experienced an unplanned power outage on Tuesday afternoon—but through the quick work of local utility companies, the lights were restored in a timely manner.

Calls to St. Benedict's Health Center and St Luke's Home found both locations operating as normal, thanks to backup generators or other means. As of this writing the power has also returned to Dickinson High School, which is serviced by Montana-Dakota Utilities company.

Mark Hanson, spokesman for MDU, provided some details as to what happened in a phone call.

"To explain this as easy as possible, it's kind of like the breaker box in your house—when it senses something isn't right, like if the breaker goes off then," Hanson said. "Something was sensed in our substation on the northwest part of town from that line, it sensed something wasn't right and it shut down that entire substation."

That same line also serves Roughrider Electric Co-op's substations, Hanson said. As of a few moments prior to this story running, power has been restored to their customers as well.

"For us, we were able to do some line switching, we can also serve that area of town through a different substation. Our customers were out for about 15 minutes and mainly that was about that northwest part of town," He said. "Our guys are still patrolling the line and they haven't found any issue with it yet, as to why it would have tripped out the substation. Sometimes we never find why—we don't find an issue, it could be something like an object in the line that caused a surge ... it could be something as simple as that, or it may be something further down, some issue on a pole ... part of it damaged or something. We haven't found any yet."

If anyone has any further information on the power outage, please contact the Dickinson press at 701-456-1206.