Morning power outage traced to wiring problem

Posted: Friday, June 10, 2005

A wiring problem in one of the Snettisham Hydroelectric facility interrupted power to about 75 percent of Juneau Thursday morning, according to Gayle Wood, office manager for Alaska Electric Light & Power in Juneau.

Even before she got into work Thursday, "I could see we had a pretty widespread outage," she said.

The loss was throughout the Mendenhall Valley and Douglas Island, Wood said.

Parts of downtown were unaffected. The Lemon Creek, Twin Lakes and Salmon Creek areas also appeared mostly unaffected, she added.

Electricity went off shortly before 8 a.m., Wood said. Some customers were without power for about 15 to 20 minutes as crews worked to restore service. All areas of the community were back up by about 8:50 p.m. with crews manually switching on the Auke Bay substation.

The problem developed while one of the three units was offline for maintenance at Snettisham, Wood explained. The wiring problem was in one of the two online units and caused the other to shut off.

Left without enough power to supply Juneau's needs, the system began shutting down substations, Wood said. The maintenance is done during the summer because the system the community uses less electricity than during the winter.

She said crews repaired the wiring problem that caused the outage.

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