The Ottumwa Courier

January 23, 2013

Southeast Iowa outage began in Missouri

Ottumwa power restored within hours

MARK NEWMAN
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Thousands of homes in Wapello County lost power for a short time late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.

According to an Alliant Energy spokesman, the trouble started when a Northeast Missouri transmission line suffered a fault just before midnight.

“It tripped out our Ottumwa South substation, which caused us to lose power to 3,392 customers on [the south side of] Ottumwa, as well as [some customers] on our Ottumwa rural route, Eddyville and a few in Blakesburg,” said Alliant’s Ryan Stensland.

What exactly caused the fault over the state line is currently unknown, he said.

“We were able to reroute power at 12:14 a.m. when we were able to bring on 600 customers ... five minutes later another 1,000.”

Within a short time, power was fully restored, he said.

“Here’s one interesting thing. Even at that late hour of the night, we had 373 customers call in to report the outage,” he said. “That’s [large] number, about 10 percent of effected customers.”

The reason that’s noteworthy is because Alliant technicians actually like when residents call. That may be part of the reason power was restored relatively quickly, Stensland said.

“We always encourage customers to call in; it sends that information right out to the field so they can determine where the fault is, which speeds up their effort to find the problem and fix it.”