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(Neb)-NPPD To Try Again On Outage - Probably

By: John Axtell Posted at: 03/08/2017 02:35 AM
CHADRON - An on-again, off-again planned emergency power shutdown in Chadron announced late yesterday afternoon by NPPD never came off, frustrating residents and the KCSR/KBPY staff who had rushed to be prepared for up to 3 hours of night without electricity...which meant without heat for most of them.

      The utility is now hoping to conduct the outage sometime this morning.

      NPPD began contacting businesses and schools - but not KCSR/KBPY - after 3:00 to say that a piece of equipment from WAPA - the federal Western Area Power Administration - at one of the Chadron substations needed to be replaced a soon as possible and would require shutting off all the electricity to the town.

      No time was given for the outage because a WAPA crew was en route from Gering to replace the bus supporter, but its arrival time was uncertain. Once the crew did arrive, the outage was scheduled for 5:00, but the WAPA crew discovered it didn't have the needed materials for the project and it was cancelled.

       Local NPPD officials, concerned that not replacing the equipment could result in a catastrophic failure of the system, arranged for their employees to work with the WAPA crew and the shutdown was rescheduled for 8:00.

        After the designated time came and went with service unaffected and no word from NPPD or Wapa, it became apparent the combined crews had given up for the night.

       The utility did eventually pass along word that there would be no outage with NPPD Corporate Media and Media Services Supervisor Mark Becker confirming it. Becker, like KCSR/KBPY, had not been initially notified of the original problem or any of the cancellations and reschedulings.

        Under normal conditions, when NPPD needs to shut down the system to make repairs or do maintenance at one of the Chadron substations, word is sent out several days in advance and only sections of the city are shut off at any one time.

       Becker says he told the situation is different this time because the Chadron substations are  "common coupled" and for this procedure both must be shut down at the same time.


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