Equipment failure cuts power to thousands

Published 11:08 am Thursday, January 20, 2011

FRANKLIN—An equipment failure left between 2,800 and 3,000 Franklin Power and Light customers in the dark Wednesday. Some were without power for more than 40 minutes.

Power and Light Director Michael Stoneham said a piece of equipment about 500 feet from an electricity delivery point on South Street failed at about 12:18 p.m. The city has three delivery points where it receives power from Dominion Virginia Power for distribution.

The failure resulted in the city’s circuit breaker in the substation to operate, but for some reason, a Dominion circuit breaker that feeds the delivery point also operated, cutting power to the entire delivery point, Stoneham said.

Power and Light officials on scene determined the problem and Dominion officials were on scene “within five minutes” of being called, Stoneham said.

Power was restored to the College and Armory drive corridors, the west side of South Street to Main Street and part of downtown within 20 minutes. Customers in Southampton County were restored at 12:41 p.m.

Stoneham said “permanent repairs” were made to the circuit and all customers were restored by 1:02 p.m.

Power and Light and Dominion are working to see if adjustments are needed to prevent the same type of problem in the future.

“The response was very well from both parties,” Stoneham said. “We were on it in a few minutes, and the Dominion local supervisor came very rapidly, and we coordinated with him.”