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Fault in underground line causes power outages

A fault in an underground line caused more than 1,350 La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) customers in northwest Archuleta County to experience occasional blinks or short term outages between 4:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12.

Full outages, which affected about 800 customers, were generally no longer than 20 minutes in duration as LPEA crews attempted to isolate the fault and restore power.

As LPEA officials note, when lines are located underground, finding a fault in the line typically takes longer than spotting issues with overhead lines. Crews must systematically isolate sections of the underground cable and test as they go to determine the exact location of the fault. As a result, LPEA customers in Archuleta County unfortunately experienced “the blinks” as the lines were energized and tested.

Safety is a priority at LPEA, and when the system registers any issue along energized lines it will lock open and not allow the electricity to flow until all is clear to avoid fire and further damage to the system.

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