State and local briefly

Posted: Monday, July 03, 2000

Power outage caused by short

JUNEAU -- Power was restored to Juneau within 70 minutes this morning after the Snettisham transmission line shorted out.

Power throughout the community went off at 5:20 a.m. and was gradually brought back by 6:30 a.m., said Peter Bibb, director of consumer affairs at Alaska Electric Light and Power Co.

About four miles south of the Thane substation, something made momentary contact with the power line from the Snettisham Hydroelectric Project, shorting it and causing a circuit breaker to open up to protect the line from burning and further damage, Bibb said.

The 44-mile power line supplies about 85 percent of Juneau's electricity, but the other power sources went out as well because they couldn't handle the whole load, he said.

The utility started up diesel generators and quickly supplied power to Bartlett Regional Hospital. But the generators weren't needed for the rest of the city because Snettisham was soon ready to go, Bibb said.

The last major outage was March 27, when a snowslide snapped a power line on Thane Road.

Ferry Kennicott behind schedule

JUNEAU -- The state ferry Kennicott is running about 10 hours behind schedule, transportation officials said. It won't be back on the published schedule until July 12, they said.

Travelers with reservations on the Kennicott should check with their local terminal or call the Alaska Marine Highway System reservations office at (800) 642-0066.

The Kennicott fell behind schedule because heavy vehicle loads and an electrical problem caused it to miss a favorable tide in Wrangell Narrows on Friday as it headed south. An overheating electrical breaker then needed to be replaced in Juneau.

Tides this time of year are unusually high and low, and they give large, heavy ships less opportunity to move through the narrows, which are near Petersburg.

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