Consistency of outages a concern

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 20, 2018

Power outages are a hassle, plain and simple. Our lives are controlled by electricity and when that is not available, it can be incredibly inconvenient.

Thankfully, power outages for any extended period of time are rare for most places.

LaFayette has unfortunately suffered two, hours long outages in less than six months, which is unusual.

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This past Tuesday, a good chunk of LaFayette was without power from around 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. due to something burning through a main line into a substation. This also caused a fire.

If this was the first time something like this had happened then the extended loss of power would be more palatable for residents. Unfortunately it isn’t.

Back in December, a squirrel on a gain switch caught fire and blew out fuses at a different substation. Power wasn’t restored until late afternoon then as well.

Both instances, while an inconvenience to residents and workers, were treated as a serious matter by officials and responders who were able to maintain peace and calm until power was restored.

That said, this has shown that there certainly needs to be a hard look at the energy infrastructure in LaFayette to determine what segments of the infrastructure may need to be updated or replaced.

In both instances, a single issue with a single line led to the part of the city consisting of the courthouse led to an extended absence of power. Each time, the locations affected were closed for much of the business day.

While both cases were simply bad luck, what would happen if instead of one line, two or more were taken down? What if someone, inadvertently inflicted damage on a line or two?

For these reasons and more, LaFayette and Chambers County should look into ways of preventing future outages.

Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three or more times mandates action.