Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snowstorm causes power outages

Hundreds lose electricity for hours

Express Staff Writer

Winter weather caused power outages to thousands of Idaho Power customers last weekend.

"There was heavy snow and ice on the line," said company spokeswoman Anne Alenskis. "We had sections of line go down."

About 1,500 customers in Hailey and Bellevue lost power around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Service to half those customers was restored by 9 a.m., but 200 were still without power by 6 p.m.

"Everybody was mostly restored by Sunday morning," she said.

Nearly 600 customers in Fairfield were without power Saturday, mostly along U.S. Highway 20, with outages stretching east to Picabo. Power was restored to all but 150 by Sunday morning. The rest had power by that evening.

"Because of deep snow, it was really hard to get to some of these locations, especially along Highway 20," Alenskis said.

Some customers in the north valley experienced power flickering, but only three customers in Ketchum experienced a storm-related power outage Saturday.

Alenskis said flickering can happen when something such as snow or a branch lands on a power line. The line tries to reset itself several times, and turns back on when it is safe to do so.

"The flickering is good," she said. "It clears the lines. It serves as a reset."

Crews were called in from Twin Falls, Boise, Gooding and other areas to help restore power.

Rebecca Meany:

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