8,900 lose power when transformer trips

March 27, 2015

3-27-15 transformer pole

A transformer had tripped and was locked out due to a tracking insulator which started an electric pole fire on North Coleman between Curtis Road and North County Line Road, the outage then spread to other substations. Photo by Karyn Beverly Smith

By Jennifer Bomorra
Correspondent

Many stories and concerns rose Saturday night, March 21st as to why there was such a widespread power outage blacking out the area.
A Consumers Energy report showed nearly 8900 customers in total were reported to be effected in the initial onset of the power outage on Saturday night.

At first, Consumers Energy had no idea as to what was causing the problem and could not release any kind of information or give any kind of restoration time to its customers.
A transformer had tripped and was locked out due to a tracking insulator which started an electric pole fire on North Coleman between Curtis Road and North County Line Road, from there, the outage created a cascading effect and spread out to other sub stations. The areas included were Clare County, Gladwin County, Isabella County and even some parts of Mecosta and Missaukee Counties as well.

Most of Clare had power restored by 11:30 am Sunday morning. The Farwell area came back on within the hour. The last restoration time that was reported was around 1:45pm Sunday afternoon, which was the north section of Isabella County.

Clare County Central Dispatch handled many concerned callers. Most of the calls that came through for service were health related, mainly people on oxygen, wondering and worried about being or running out of home oxygen.

“Law enforcement and fire responded to every concerned call that came into Central Dispatch,” said Jerry Becker, Director of Clare County Emergency Management.
“No damage was reported. The biggest problem of the night was people not treating the stop lights as a four way stop, they were just running right through the lights, especially near the Colonville Road stop light.” Anytime a stop light is out, it must always be treated as a four way stop,”  Jerry Becker also added.

Becker’s main concern during was concentrating mainly on keeping in communication with the hospital and nursing homes in the surrounding area. “There was no damage done to any of their generators at those places as well, but, “they did get a real big load test to their main systems.”

“ We kept an eye out to make sure no damage was done, and no shelters had to be opened due to the power outage, but if it would have went much longer, we would have set one up, ”added Becker.

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