UPDATE: Power restored across New RichmondSome customers of New Richmond Utilities were faced with a power outage for about 40 minutes Thursday afternoon, July 19.
Some customers of New Richmond Utilities were faced with a power outage for about 40 minutes Thursday afternoon, July 19.
The downtown traffic signals were affected, as were the schools and many residential homes. Power was knocked out at city hall, and even when power was restored at around 1:20 p.m., the phones remained dead into the city offices.
According to Tom Rickard, electrical superintendent with New Richmond Utilities, the outage occurred when Xcel Energy's transmission line to one of the city's substations went dead.
Because Xcel officials didn't know how long the outage might last, Rickard said the utilities department switched the power into the affected substation over to another power supplier.
"It was kind of a rat race for a while," Rickard said. "It was a lot of hassle for people."
Xcel's transmission line was restored by 2:45 p.m. and city utilities crew members began switching back to that line.
In all, about two-thirds of city electrical customers were impacted by the outage, Rickard estimated.
Rickard said such outages often occur during storms or if there is an equipment failure, but rarely does it happen when no other circumstances are involved.