Some of Sitka’s harbor users experienced a short outage yesterday  evening (12-05-16).

A high voltage switch failed near the corner of Halibut Point Road and Katlian Street. This created an outage at Thomsen Harbor, Eliason Harbor, and the area of the Seafood Producers Coop from 6:15 to 7:42 in the evening.

The switch was installed in 1982. Utility Director Bryan Bertacchi traced the failure to aging electrical infrastructure. In September, the Assembly approved a 10 year capital plan for the Electrical Department, which includes replacing and repairing old infrastructure to prevent long or large-scale outages. But as that process moves ahead, Bertacchi says that shorter outages may occur as “smaller, older components fail.”

In a press release issued today (12-06-16), Bertacchi also noted that over the past year and a half the department has done extensive work to improve the reliability of service. That includes replacing old power poles, extensive tree trimming, and replacing cable lines north of town on Halibut Point Road.