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Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ electric line crew spent the evening and early morning troubleshooting two underground power outages, one that began late Tuesday evening and the other early Wednesday morning.
Tuesday evening’s power outage began around 10 p.m. and affected 40 to 50 customers at the Loma Vista Apartments and a small section of Oppenheimer. Crews restored power at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday by running a temporary line above ground to the area. Linemen are still investigating the root cause so that permanent repairs may be conducted and the temporary line removed.
At 3 a,m., Canyon Road residences between Manhattan Loop and Rim Road lost power due to an underground fault. Crews were able to restore power to the majority of customers by 6 a.m. and anticipated the remaining six customers will be restored by 11 a.m.
The outages were the result of two factors. The first was related to age: the cable affected has an average 30-year life span, and the cable was installed in the 1980s, The method of installation was the other factor. These are “direct bury lines” lines covered with insulation for protection and buried directly in the ground. Today. line is installed in conduits to protect it from the elements.