South Blanco County residents suddenly found themselves without power on Wednesday morning, December 1. The outage affected 1,062 Pedernales Electric Co-op members in the city and west of Blanco, out FM 1623 and RR 1888, starting at 8:45am, according to PEC communications manager Michael Racis.
“Our lineman patrolled the line,” Racis reported, “and it appeared that an animal, most likely a squirrel, caused a breaker to open resulting in an outage.”
PEC closed the breaker, and restored power, at 10:20am.
Homes and offices on the square and along 4th Street, including the Blanco County News office at 714 4th St, were in the dark, and reports came in that Super S and Dollar General were affected as well.
The BCN staff reported the outage minutes after it happened; while the operator was testing the office meter, other reports came in. Soon after, a line of PEC trucks rolled into town and out RR 1623.
With temperatures near freezing on that morning, many residents had their heaters running when the outage occurred. When PEC crews attempt to restore power, the system has to cope with the increased load. PEC’s communications coordinator Anne Harvey noted that, while Wednesday’s incident was not due to electric grid overloading, those types of situations can lead to longer interruption times.
PEC’s new website went online on Monday and includes information and tips about how members can avoid these types of situations. Once you find out that the outage isn’t caused by a tripped circuit or blown fuse, call 1-888-883-3379. PEC recommends “[turning] off all electrical appliances that were on when service was disrupted. To help preserve food items, leave the doors to your refrigerator and freezer closed,” and “[opening] the circuit breakers to major appliances to turn them off. Once power is restored, avoid overloading by turning appliances back on in 15-minute intervals.”
Visit PEC’s new website at www.pec.coop for more information and to see their new online tools.