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'Lockout' caused widespread power outage

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news Wadena, 56482

Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Supper was not quite on the table for some area residents Nov. 24 when the power failed for 1,784 Todd-Wadena Electric customers.

Todd-Wadena buys electrical power from Minnesota Power and when a piece of equipment at a sub-station in Verndale failed, the resulting outage left customers in Wadena, Verndale and Aldrich in the dark.


According to a report which Todd-Wadena line superintendent Mark Christianson received from Minnesota Power, a transformer and bus locked out for safety reasons. A lockout prevents further trouble but it also forces crews to respond. Flickering power outages, according to Christianson, are caused when the equipment is attempting to self-correct a problem -- such as when a branch drops on a power line.

It took Minnesota Power crews 1 hour and 45 minutes to restore power.

The power was out from 5:49-7:33 p.m.

An additional 1,083 customers lost power for seven minutes.

Todd-Wadena Electric serves more than 8,000 customers.