Bitter cold does in power station - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bitter cold does in power station

January 24, 2005

Albany -- The power outage started around 5:00AM. A transformer fault on a main line coming into this power substation on Stuart Avenue started the blackout.

Parts of Northwest Albany went dark, with temperatures around 20 degrees. Police officers had to direct traffic at busy intersections.

Albany Water Gas and Light spokespersons say that overloads on the system caused another substation in South Albany to fail. People running heaters and appliances in the early morning cold created a heavy demand.

 A water pipe burst in the roof of the Albany Mall, flooding the Sunset Grill and Bar. Owner Terry Ho said "The heat was on. The power went out early this morning. Maybe that's what caused it, I don't know."

A couple of inches of water covered the floor before the water was turned off. The restaurant will have to close for two days for the cleanup. "I don't like to be closed, because of all our good customers who come in here to eat. We do have a lot of regulars who come for lunch and dinner. So I hope they will forgive us,"Ho said.

McDonalds on Dawson Road was also empty. They could not serve their breakfast crowd, because they had no power to cook.

Peggy Landrum put icing on the cookies they had, but the Great American Cookie Store could not start baking until their power came back on. Employees at the Mall sat in the food court, waiting for the power to come back on. Many of the stores have electric security gates, so their employees had to wait to open up.

Landrum said "I think the biggest problem has been the walkers haven't been able to get in here and walk this morning. But for us it's not causing a big problem."

Power was restored by 10:00, so most people could get on with their normal day. But for the Sunset Grills owners, they were faced with a long day's clean up. The main power line into Albany that failed belongs to MEAG, Municipal Electric Authority Company of Georgia.

They said they did not know what caused the transformer to fail, but that animals sometimes get into them on extremely cold nights.

The cold weather also is affecting power customers around Thomasville. Crews restored electricity quickly Monday morning to about 100 residents of the city.

Thomasville Utilities says that like the power outage in Albany, the ones in their area also were due to overload when people awoke to the cold weather.

posted at 4:30PM by dave.miller@walb.com