BRIEFS: Power outage hit townsite

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By The Staff

Two apparently unrelated power outages struck downtown and North Mesa at about 11 a.m. Sunday.

The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities estimated that 1,000 households were affected in North Mesa and about 50 businesses in portions of the downtown. About 80 percent of the North Mesa households had their power restored by about 4:15 p.m., with the remainder back up within another hour, according to the department’s press release Monday.

A utilities spokesperson said the department was unable to determine the cause of the North Mesa outage. After several hours of investigation, engineering staff decided that the protective equipment was falsely indicating a hazard, and measures were taken to restore the power.

The downtown interruption was ascribed to a nesting squirrel. Power was restored there by 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

A third power outage was reported in portions of downtown at 9 a.m. Monday, said to have been caused by a “direct–bury line failure ... Trinity businesses had power restored by 11 a.m.; other businesses on DP and 6th Street, at noon; and full power restoration was achieved at 1:10 p.m.,” the department stated.

“The Department of Public Utilities is working with a third party engineering firm toward a coprehensive system assessment,” said Deputy Utilities Manager, Steve Cummins in the announcement.

Lab injury reported

A Los Alamos National Laboratory spokesperson confirmed that a KSL worker lost part of a finger in an accident Sunday afternoon at the Sigma Building, Technical Area 66, at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The accident occurred during a planned electrical outage for maintenance of the electrical system.

“The worker had an accident and a finger was crushed,” said Kevin Roark, of the laboratory communication office.

He said the accident had nothing to do with the power outage in the townsite.