|Power lines run next to the fence at the ECDC landfill. One line was reportedly hit by a large truck, causing a two-hour power outage on Nov. 2.|
Students at Bruin Point Elementary ended up with a three-day weekend after an electrical power outage reportedly caused by equipment at the East Carbon Development Corporation forced officials to close school Friday.
The outage occurred at 6:34 a.m. on Nov. 2 when a dump truck from ECDC purportedly struck an electrical transmission line.
When the line was compromised, a larger cable in the system tripped the substation and cut power to the entire community, according to Dave Esscelson, media official for Rocky Mountain Power.
"During the vehicle accident, a truck hit one of our cables and flipped it into a 46,000 volt line," indicated Eccelson. "That created a fault that disrupted the substation causing East Carbon and Sunnyside to lose all power."
Esscelson reported that a troubleshooter was dispatched to the scene immediately and power was restored to both east county cities at 8:19 a.m.
"It is not known at this time whether further repairs will be required," said Esscelson. "But there was no indication that any equipment beside the line was damaged."
According to ECDC site manager Jeff Green, "an employee was dumping ash from the site's garbage cell and forgot to put his bed down as he was pulling out of the area. His bed was high enough to snap the over-head power lines."
Green reported that the landfill site takes safety seriously. ECDC has signs posted on all electrical poles reminding employees to lower equipment around power lines.
"ECDC has been open since 1991 and we have never caused a power outage with our equipment. That is 16 years with three sets of high voltage lines running through the main roads of our property," said Green.
|Rocky Mountain Power officials said the first line that was hit then compromised a 46,000 volt line that then tripped the sub-station causing a two-hour-plus power outage in the cities of East Carbon and Sunnyside.|
According to Green, ECDC has strict policies on the correct action to take following an accident.
"As soon as the employee realized he had hit the lines, we quarantined the area," pointed out Green. "We then called Rocky Mountain Power and waited for them to repair the power. I was told by a Rocky Mountain Power employee that it was a neutral line that was hit - a line that can carry 7,200 volts."
The reasons for power failure can range from a defect in the system, a short circuit or damage to one of the electricity transmission lines.
Rocky Mountain Power's website recommends following several steps when dealing with a downed electrical line.
If a downed power line is spotted, the company's website recommends keeping everyone away from the area and notifying the correct officials regarding the situation.
Carbon County residents should never try to move a downed power line.
People should always assume that a downed transmission line is dangerous and energized.
Touching a live wire or anything near the power line can cause electricity to flow through the body, resulting in serious injury or death.
The power company cautions local residents to stay safe and stay away from damaged power lines as well as electrical transmission equipment.
If a power line falls on an automobile, the company's website advises the driver and passengers to remain inside the vehicle.
"You are safe from electrical shock as long as you're inside the vehicle," stated rockymountainpower.com. "If you must escape due to a car fire, leap from the open vehicle with both feet together and continue to hop away with both feet together, taking care to never touch the car once you've made contact with the ground."
"Warn others to stay clear of the vehicle until power company officials arrive," stressed the company's Web site.