Local News

Bump! in the dark blamed for Sitka power outage

Large parts of Sitka lost power for about a half-hour this evening (Thu 1-9-14), after a technician at the Blue Lake Hydro plant bumped his ladder against a control panel while changing light bulbs.

Blue Lake operator Frank Rogers said the bump was just enough to cause a protective relay to open, isolating the Blue Lake switchyard from Sitka’s other main power source at the Green Lake plant.

Green Lake was powering most of Sitka when the mishap occurred at about 8:30 PM. Residents along Halibut Point Road, at the far end of Sitka’s utility system were supplied by one of the Blue Lake generators which remained on during the event.

Rogers says it was just a matter of balancing the two hydro plants to restore power, which took about a half hour.

And he added that it’s great to have fresh light bulbs in the control room.

Sitka is currently in the middle of a $157-million project to raise the height of the Blue Lake Dam by 83 feet, and add a third generating turbine. It’s the most expensive public works project in the city’s history.

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