‘Bad elbow’ blamed for outage | TheUnion.com

‘Bad elbow’ blamed for outage

A “bad elbow” at the Brunswick Road substation led to the power outage Monday night in Nevada City that left some residents in the dark until at least 1 a.m. and forced some business closures.

The elbow, which is a key connector in the local power grid, left 3,174 customers without power starting at 3:42 p.m., an official for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said.

It would be more than eight hours before some Nevada City residents would again hear the welcoming whir of a ceiling fan or air conditioner.

Crews connected neighborhoods to different circuits throughout the evening, which returned power in stages to the community, said PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno.

SPD in Nevada City closed at 4 p.m., six hours earlier than usual, said David Painter, one of the owners of the supermarket.

“Luckily, we didn’t lose anything,” he said. “We did learn that we need to replace some battery packs at our cash registers.”

Painter said power was restored to the Zion Street store by around 9 p.m., which was before hundreds of other residences and businesses would see the light again.

Downtown Nevada City was practically a ghost town by 7 p.m. Bars, where customers could be seen huddling in the dark, appeared to be the only businesses that were open as the sun was setting behind hot and hazy skies.

“We’re always open, even when there’s 4 feet of snow on the ground,” Eric Fjelbheim, a bartender at McGees, said Tuesday.

Verne Taylor, Nevada City’s Public Works director, said the downtown area was in the dark until around 1 a.m. He said the power outage caused no problems for the city.

Donna Nelson of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department said the power outage was not much of an issue at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility either.

“We had no major problems,” she said. “Everything essential here is on a backup generator.”

According to Moreno, the power was returned to the first 549 customers at 6:50 p.m. At 1 a.m. Tuesday, PG&E said the last 285 customers had their power returned.

To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail pbutler@theunion.com or call 477-4239.

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