Speeding Bullet Causes a 12-Hour Power Outage

November 11, 2015

By Michael Guta - Contributing Writer

If something has caused a power outage, we’ve probably covered it here at TMC (News - Alert). Everything from squirrels to lightning and garbage trucks have at one point or other been responsible for the inconvenience a power outage causes. The latest culprit is a bullet, which was responsible for causing an outage lasting 12 hours in Berthoud, Colorado.

As reported on ReporterHerald.com by Jessica Benes, around 3,000 residents in the small community had to endure 12 hours of not having power while the local power company, Xcel, fixed the problem.

According to Benes, Sgt. Mark Clancy of the Larimer County Sheriff's office verified the initial assessment by the power company of what caused the outage. Sergeant Clancy stated a bullet hole was found in the equipment.

The reason it took 12 hours to fix the problem is, Berthoud is a small community, and unlike big cities in which the power can be rerouted, the infrastructure that is in place did not allow Xcel to reroute the power; the equipment had to be fixed.

Gabriel Romero, company spokesman with Xcel Energy based out of Denver, told Benes, "In this case we couldn't reroute power; we were beholden to fixing everything first.” He went on to say that the bullet was responsible for damaging the mechanism that feeds the transmission line.

That particular transmission line was responsible for bringing all the power to the area and the corresponding substations. The power went out at 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, and by 10 a.m. Sunday morning the crew from Xcel had replaced the damaged parts and had power to residents in Berthoud.

The power outage not only affected residents, but also businesses, including the Loveland Reporter-Herald, the paper where Benes works. The company had to make arrangement with the Denver Post to print the Sunday edition and have it ready by the morning.

This incident, particularly for the newspaper, highlights the importance of having power protection schemes in place to ensure valuable equipment is protected, and the data within it doesn’t get lost.

Minuteman, a manufacturer of power protection products, provides a complete line of equipment to protect computers, TV, appliances, smartphones and other electronics. By simply plugging your equipment to an uninterruptible power supply or UPS, you can protect them from surges or spikes as well as being able to shut them down properly to protect your data.

Whether you are a reporter working on a breaking story or you are in your home office putting the final touches on a report, a power outage can be a major inconvenience. But if you have the right protection tools in place, the only inconvenience might be working in the dark.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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