December 18, 2014

Substation goes out in Panhandle, sparking widespread power outage

Hundreds of residents in the Panhandle have to deal with this heat without air conditioning.

It could last a while.

About 700 customers remain without power in Dix, Potter and areas north of Potter in Nebraska’s Panhandle after a substation transformer failed.

The High West Energy transformer failed at around two o’clock Tuesday afternoon and parts will be arriving from York, Nebraska to fix the substation as soon as possible, according to Tammy McNamee with High West. She says because of intense heat and recent fires parts in Colorado parts are in high demand, so it could be some time before they arrive and repairs can be made.

For now, High West is using rolling blackouts of four hours on and eight hours off on various circuits and urges limited electricity consumption.

Wheat Belt Public Power based in Sidney says it’s helping out by shifting some of its power to the High West service area. Wheat Belt has asked customers in Sidney, the Sioux Army Depot area, Dalton and Gurley to conserve energy use by limiting lawn watering, air conditioner use and electronics.

The massive outage came on a day when Sidney set a new all-time record high temperature of 111 degrees.

By Dave Collins, KSID