Broken line connection linked to large-scale power outage

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Intersections with traffic lights, including this one at the corner of North 2nd East Street and American Legion Boulevard, became four-way stops during the three-hour power outage

A broken electrical line connection was linked to a wide-spread power outage that left an estimated 5,000 homes and businesses in Mountain Home without power for more than three hours on Wednesday.

The outage began around 7:55 a.m. after a connecting line for a 69-killowatt transmission line broke, according to Stephanie McCurdy, a spokesperson with Idaho Power.

Located near the Mountain Home Substation on the east end of town, the line serves as an electrical "highway" for thousands of customers here, McCurdy said.

Following the initial outage, which affected nearly 1,500 customers, a larger outage happened at 8:40 a.m. and left another 3,500 homes and businesses without power, McCurdy said.

During the morning, an electrical transformer at the corner of North Haskett and Chestnut streets near West Elementary School exploded and caught fire. However, the Idaho Power spokesperson said the incident wasn't connected to the power outage.

In addition, a pair of small power outages were reported earlier that morning and affected approximately a dozen customers. However, Idaho Power had previously scheduled those outages, McCurdy said.

Utility crews returned electrical service to the first 1,500 customers at 11:23 a.m. with power fully restored by 11:30 a.m.

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