Transmission line fire causes 13-hour power outage

Saturday, August 18, 2012

EUREKA SPRINGS -- A tree falling on a transmission line that caused a fire resulted in an almost 13-hour power outage in western Carroll County last Saturday, Aug. 11.

Carroll Electric spokesperson Nancy Plagge said that shortly before midnight, a tree outside Carroll Electric's right-of-way fell down and broke a transmission line pole. A fire was ignited, which caused the line to burn down, she said.

Plagge said she did not know the exact location.

"I know they had difficulty getting to it," she said. "They had to bring a dozer and cut a new road to it. That transmission line goes through some pretty rough areas, but we do have an easement for that line."

An area resident said he was told the fallen tree was in an area near Thorncrown Chapel.

Doug Reed, owner of Thorncrown Chapel, said personnel came through his property.

"They had a paramedic there and fire truck," he said, "but we never saw any smoke. They never told us exactly what the problem was."

He said neither the chapel nor his home was affected, and no bulldozer came through his gate.

Asked if he had had issues with Carroll Electric wanting to clear his right-of-way in the past, he said there had been one time when clearing had come near the chapel area, but he and the electric cooperative had since worked it out, and Carroll Electric was being a lot more "lenient" about its clearing.

Thorncrown Chapel is a major local tourist attraction. Its 48-foot tall structure has 425 windows and more than 6,000 square feet of glass, affording those sitting inside a view of the surrounding forest. It's important to maintain that visual environment, Reed said.

"They are working with us, and we are very relieved," he said.

Plagge said the transmission line was a power line that feeds high-voltage power to the Grassy Knob substation. The substation then steps it down and feeds it out to the distribution lines that go to homes and businesses. A transmission line failure can have far-reaching effects, and she said there were 1,523 meters out as a result of this incident.

A second power outage in that area occurred Monday morning, the 13th. Plagge said a piece of equipment called an oil circuit recloser failed, causing the outage for about five hours.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: