Moose Loop fire

Moose Loop fire area

On Wednesday, July 12, Montpelier and surrounding areas experienced a power outage. In some areas the power was off for 23 hours.

The outage also caused a small fire in the Moose Loop Subdivision, located North of Montpelier. A transformer there blew and started showering sparks. Weeds at the bottom of the pole ignited. Scott Williams, a resident of the subdivision, called 911 and then went to work to keep the fire in check until the fire department arrived. The power outage caused some challenges for the department as the doors are on an electric opener that had to be overridden. No property was damaged by the fire.

In a news release from Rocky Mountain Power stated,” Rocky Mountain Power repair crews are working to restore an outage affecting customers in the Montpelier, Idaho area. The outage began at 4:58 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 due to component failure associated with a power transformer in the Montpelier substation. Initially affecting about 2,100 customers, that was reduced to 1,489 customers by 10 p.m.

Estimated restoration at this time is 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The outage also affected customers in the communities of Dingle, Paris and Ovid.

By early evening Wednesday, a mobile substation was dispatched from Salt Lake City to the Montpelier substation, as well as a replacement part for the transformer. Once the mobile substation arrives, it typically takes about eight hours to connect to the local grid. When that is completed, all customers can be restored to service. This will also allow the Montpelier substation transformer to be thoroughly tested to ensure there are no further problems.”

Many residents that received power Wednesday evening, experienced a second outage that was approx. 3 hrs on Thursday while the portable substation was brought on line.

Montpelier city urged residents to limit outdoor water usage as the reserve tanks were lowered to a depth of only four feet. Water use was limited until Sunday, so the tanks could refill. This could cause a major issue in the event of a fire. In the event of a power outage, please remember to turn off all outdoor water and limit water usage to only necessary use.

The Grace Theil Community Center had power due to the generator that was recently installed. They offered space to anyone who needed power for oxygen concentrators.

Several businesses had to rent generators or bring in refrigerator trucks to keep food from spoiling.

This might be a good time to prepare for the next time the power is out. What challenges did you or your family experience from the event?