Not even 7 o’clock on a Monday morning and the power goes off! Some residents in southern Lamar had to make other arrangements to their morning routine as a voltage transformer near the Lamar water tanks faulted when it developed a hairline crack. Lamar Light and Power Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, explained that the outage lasted for about two hours and was probably caused by moisture entering a crack in an 80lb voltage transformer. “There isn’t any way this can be noticed from the outside as the housing is encased in solid steel, but you can see a hairline crack where moisture probably got in,” he told the utility board members during their meeting, Tuesday, March 28th. “Fortunately, we had a spare and the line crew was able to make repairs in about two hours.” He added that the cost of the unit was $1,600. He told board members that since last Friday, Lamar has been feeding power to Las Animas as that community lost several poles on one of their lines because of recent strong winds. He said that should continue until next Monday.
Line crews had to replace two, 40 foot wooden poles which burned down due to farmers burning ditches. One pole was located at CR MM & 10 and the other was at CR SS & 7. Hourieh said the cost of the poles replacement will be sent to CIRSA and the sheriff’s office was contacted to follow up on the incidents. Hourieh said it did cause an outage, but he expressed concerns about public safety, “When a pole burns down to the ground, wires are down..a car or kid or somebody can get tangled in the electrical wires.” He added that one burn was proscribed and the other wasn’t.
In financial news, sales of electricity through February 2017 are up approximately 7.9% when compared to the same time last year. Residential sales were up 5.11%, irrigation sales were up 2.03% and commercial/industrial sales were up 0.68%, which represents 96% of total system sales. Revenue is up 15.8% during this time frame. The G.E. crew completed replacing the Springfield wind turbine’s two bearings, a slip-ring and generator brushes. The turbine had been down for several months and was back in production on March 17th.
By Russ Baldwin
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