Switch failure knocks out power in Mendenhall Valley

About 3,000 Mendenhall Valley households and businesses were without power this morning for about an hour when a switch failed at the Alaska Light and Power Loop substation.

Electricity went off at 7:23 a.m. and was restored by about 8:30 a.m.

AEL&P spokeswoman Deb Ferreira says the switch failure caused all four feeders at the substation to go offline.

“Some customers reported seeing a flash of light. We believe that was caused by the disconnect switch burning out,” she said.

The outage caused the Dimond Park Aquatic Center to shut down for most of the morning.

Aquatics Manager Kathie Millhorn says the surge affected the small pool circulation pump and chlorine generation system.

“So we closed the facility until we could get the circulation pump back up and get our disinfectant levels back up, so that it’s a healthy, safe environment,” Millhorn said.

She says it took a couple minutes to repair the pump, and the center reopened about 11 a.m. after the chlorine got back to a safe level.

AEL&P’s Ferreira recommends customers use grounded surge protectors and other measures to prevent damage to electronic equipment from power blips that occur regularly.

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