5/6/2014 4:07:00 PM Transformer failure caused widespread city power outage Saturday
Many customers of the Harbor Springs Electric Department lost power Saturday morning, May 3, in a rather widespread outage.
"At the City's (electric) substation (in Little Traverse Township), the failure of one or more of the high voltage insulators caused damage to the switching equipment on one of the main transformers serving between one-third to half of our customers," city manager Tom Richards said on Monday.
"I'm told that the affected customers had power interrupted for about two hours as our crews responded, and were able to switch all the affected customers onto an alternate transformer until the cause and the damage can be fully assessed and repairs can be made."
Richards told City Council at the regular meeting Monday night that such occurrences are not unusual, the City has just been fortunate that this is the first time such a failure has happened here.
There are two transformers that typically share the electricity load, Richards noted. Currently all power is being handled by just the single transformer until repairs and tests are completed on the damaged unit.
The city does have emergency power generators that can be turned on in an prolonged outage and can power certain areas of the city such as Bay Bluffs and the Harbor Springs Middle School, which could serve as a shelter in an emergency.