Power Back after MI Substation Blast

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 @ 04:02 PM gHale

After a substation explosion and fire at the Escanaba Power Plant in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan Monday, power is now back on, officials said.

Power is back in some areas of Delta County in the wake of Monday blackouts after the early morning explosion at the city’s main power plant. Depending on circuit overloads, residents could see rolling blackouts in increments of two hours in Escanaba for up to two days.

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The city utilized municipal facilities as warming shelters as temperatures dropped overnight to single digits. With restoring power to residential areas, officials are asking residents to heat their homes then conserve energy to avoid circuit overloads until a new substation can hook up. The process should take between 18 and 24 hours.

Damage assessment is still going on to determine the severity of the fire damage and the cause of the explosion.

Officials said a contracting crew worked throughout the night, and called in experts from around the Midwest to advise and assist. The county is coordinating with its emergency center by declaring a local state of emergency and monitoring critical care units to ensure the least amount of impact to the elderly and other individuals with health concerns.

A replacement substation is coming in from Iron Mountain to replace the damaged equipment. It will take 18 to 24 hours to get it running. Officials said the power outage began at around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. No one suffered any injuries in the fire.

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