Downtown power outage caused by cable failure
Have a news tip? Click here to submit your tip.
An underground cable failure left parts of Sitka without electricity for several hours on Saturday morning. Areas of downtown and Japonski Island lost power at 6:55am Saturday, November 9.
While most of the city’s electricity runs through overhead wires, Sitka’s downtown core is served by high-voltage underground cables. Those are subject to occasional failures, said Sitka Utilities Director Christopher Brewton.
“This thing was 30 plus years old” Brewton said. “That’s one of the downsides to underground cables, is as they age, there’s no scientifically proven method to test the integrity, so they fail. It’s just part of the process with underground [cables].”
A city crew had to hunt for the damaged section, and found it near Seward Street just before 10am. Power was restored to the affected areas just after noon.
On Friday, Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration for Sitka, in response to seven landslides on August 18th. In a letter to the legislature, Walker said he would cap relief at $1 million for the moment, but that the incident is ongoing and total recovery costs are unknown. According to Gorman, the cost of emergency response alone is estimated to be over half a million dollars. Individual assistance and family grants are also available, at a cap of $16,450 per household. more
The Coast Guard has determined the source of a large diesel spill that spread from Sitka Sound into ANB harbor yesterday morning (08-31-15). The source was a commercial vessel south of ANB Harbor, Since the spill wasn’t reported for several hours, the size could have been anywhere from 50 gallons to 300 gallons. That made clean-up difficult. more