The lights went out in the Madison area on Saturday morning, the result of a construction accident at the Farmers Ag Center in Madison.
Tess Nelson, load management and operations manager for the city, said a contractor working on the new fertilizer plant was in a man-lift, which cut the 69,000-volt line that supplies power to the power plant. The incident happened at 8:34 a.m., said city Electric Superintendent Dennis Poppen, knocking out power to citizens in the southwest part of town.
East River Electric Power Cooperative was called in to assist with fixing the line, because the city needed their trucks, said Nelson.
The line was repaired by 10:45 a.m., Poppen added.
The outage problems trickled out to Sioux Valley Electric customers as well, according to Scott Parsley, assistant general manager of member services for East River. The interruption in power on the East River transmission line caused some breakers to trigger, but "that's the way the system is supposed to work," Parsley said.
About 1,500 Sioux Valley Electric customers were without power for about 30 minutes, said Ted Smith, director of engineering and operations with Sioux Valley Electric.
The repair costs will be passed on to the contractor, Poppen said.