Power restored to 2,200 people in Ames after brief outage


Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

The Ames and ISU Police departments helped direct traffic on Tuesday, June 19, during a power outage which affected all of Ames.

Katherine Kealey, Editor-in-Chief

The south area of Ames underwent a power outage starting around 8 a.m. Wednesday and lasting for roughly an hour before electric services restored it. 

Two substations at Mortensen Street and Veterinary Medicine experienced mechanical failures. Within a few minutes, Veterinary Medicine was restored with power. The Mortensen outages affected the area around the station. Approximately 2,200 customers were without power. 

Power returned to the Mortensen station by 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Crews from the City of Ames Electric Services reported to the Mortensen station to ensure the transformer and equipment were functioning. 

The City of Ames’ director of electric services Donald Kom said periodically, technical equipment fails, and the power outage was not a result of high temperatures. Crews from Ames Electric Services were working on a project to open a 69,000-volt transmission line. When the line opened, a relay failed, which caused an outage at both locations. The Electric Services is still investigating to determine if the relay needs to be replaced or if it was reset.

“We attempt through preventative maintenance to find those things ahead of time,” Kom said. “Every so often, you get a piece of equipment that fails. So we go out, fix it and try to get our customers back on as quickly as we can.”

If a power outage occurs, customers can call 515-239-5240. When customers call the first time, the audio may request the location of the outage. If the electric services already received a report of the outage, the call will triangulate the reports to find the common piece of equipment.

“It allows our line workers to go right to that spot first and find the outage,” Kom said. “If five people call here with the same information, it takes us much longer to find the common elements to that outage. It just helps us get the outages located, fixed and people back on much more quickly.”