Cause for GRU power failure still undetermined

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.

The cause of a power outage that plunged almost 8,000 Gainesville Regional Utilities customers into darkness Thursday night has not yet been determined, but it originated at a substation at the Kelly Generating Station downtown.

GRU spokeswoman Amelia Bell said Friday that workers are checking the system to try to learn why the power went out.

“Now they are doing their due diligence and going through with a fine-tooth comb to see if they can identify the cause,” Bell said. “Everybody's power is back up; everything is working properly, but they don't know what caused the outage.”

The power failure affected 7,971 customers. Outages began at 5 p.m. and power returned by 6:20 p.m., though power was restored to some customers in shorter times.

Outages were reported in both north and south Gainesville as far west as 34th Street and as far east as GRU's coverage area — roughly Newnan's Lake.

The outages darkened traffic signals at 38 intersections, most of which required staffing by the Gainesville Police Department to ensure safety, Officer Ben Tobias said.

Signals that did not have an officer or police service technician directing traffic were generally close to an intersection that was, enabling the person to monitor it as well, Tobias said.

No accidents occurred during the outage period, though Tobias said a multi-car accident happened on Archer Road at Center Drive shortly before the outage. No injuries or road blockage occurred at the accident site, Tobias added.

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