Mt. Vernon Register-News


June 1, 2011

Massive power outage in region

MT. VERNON — A malfunctioning transformer at a West Mt. Vernon power station caused a power outage for more than 13,000 residents in Jefferson and Franklin Counties.

A breaker blew on one of the banks of the West Mt. Vernon substation, which reduces power from 345,000 volts to 138,000, said Leigh Morris, a spokesman for Ameren Illinois.

Crews were working to switch the breaker and bring power flow in from other sources and directions, Morris said.

He said that about 10,600 people in Jefferson County and 6,300 in Franklin County lost power due to the blown breaker.

Power was restored to the city of Mt. Vernon at approximately 9:10 p.m., when the demand to the lines caused another transformer or circuit breaker to spark brightly, lighting up the night sky. The wires, located in the region of 32nd and Broadway Streets, flashed and sparked at about 9:13 p.m., when power to points east of that location went out again.

Mt. Vernon Fire Department, Mt. Vernon Police Department, Litton Ambulance Service and Ameren Illinois personnel responded to the scene behind Family Video.

Power was restored to the eastern half of Mt. Vernon at about 10:04 p.m.

The outage in Jefferson and Franklin Counties was not related to a 4:55 p.m. outage in Champaign, Du Quoin and Urbana.

The Ameren Illinois outage Web site was reporting at 10:50 p.m. that 94 percent of Jefferson County, or 11,223, and 287 people in Hamilton County, still had no power.

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