A major part of Monett endured an electricity outage yesterday that lasted most of the afternoon in some areas.
According to Amy Bass, director of corporate communications for Empire District Electric, the problem occurred when one of Empire's 69,000 volt lines on County Street in Monett sagged into some trees and caused a short.
"This was the result of the extreme heat and high demand," Bass said. "The communities that were impacted included Monett, Purdy and Butterfield. On the Empire system, this was about 1,200 customers."
Monett Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the fireball that developed from contact with the trees triggered a phase-to-phase short, opening the breaker in the substation north of town on H Highway.
"This caused a power outage to the Marshall Hill Substation and the two substations on Chapell Drive just north of IDF," Rauch said, around 12:30 p.m. yesterday.
City crews headed out to transfer as much of the city's power load from the three out-of-service substations to the north substation near the IOOF Cemetery and substation at Seventh and Front Street.
"They were able to pick up most of Tyson Foods and EFCO load and a substantial number of residential customers," Rauch said. "Unfortunately we could not pick up any more load without potentially jeopardizing the still operational substations."
|In the meantime, Empire crews inspected their lines over a wide distance, figuring a line must be down to have caused a fault of such magnitude. After approximately two hours, the problem was isolated.|
"Empire brought in tree trimmers and trimmed approximately a half mile," Bass said.
Around 4 p.m. Rauch reported crews were able to restore power to the Marshall Hill substation, which primarily serves industrial customers. At approximately 4:45 p.m. crews re-energized the substations on Chapell Drive.
"Our crews systematically brought each of the circuits up, and by 5 p.m., the city was back to normal operation," Rauch said.