Storms, Searing Heat, and Squirrels
Wed, 07/14/2021 - 12:01pm admin
Power Outages Throughout the County
Amanda Mendez, Publisher
A series of both usual and unusual causes disrupted electricity service for hundreds of residents in Howell County throughout the latter part of last week.
On Wednesday, July 7 in Willow Springs, a circuit went out on the northwest side of the city that affected about 100 people, including businesses. According to City Administrator Beverly Hicks, a faulty circuit fuse blew in the heat.
“With temperatures getting a little warmer, any weakness on the line will show itself at some point by blowing a cut-out,” Hicks said.
Power was back on within an hour. Hicks said this outage was similar to the recent widespread outage caused when a semi truck struck a utility pole by Snappy Mart, in that damage at one point in the line tripped a breaker and shut off electricity to the rest of the circuit in the interest of safety.
On Saturday July 9, West Plains residents from CC Highway to Sunset Terrace and from Porter Wagoner to the west, including the Westway subdivision, had a rude awakening when squirrels inside the substation caused a widespread outage. City crews reported power was off for roughly one hour and approximately 2,000 customers were affected by the widespread outage.
Crews worked until after 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning restoring power in the Bratton Avenue area following Friday evening storms.
On Saturday night, severe storms ripped through the northern part of the county and caused Howell-Oregon Cooperative customers to lose power as well. The damage reached its height at 1:00 a.m. on July 11, when HOEC reported 1,306 customers were in the dark. Crews working through the night restored power incrementally, reducing the number of affected customers by 100 or 200 every hour. By 6:00 a.m., only 18 customers remained without power.