Broken insulator knocks out power to more than 3,000

It was truly a dark and stormy night for a few thousand Salmon Arm residents Saturday

It was truly a dark and stormy night for a few thousand Salmon Arm residents Saturday.

The power went out for 3,073 BC Hydro customers in the city just after 9 p.m. Dec. 5 and stayed out at some places for nearly three hours.

Hydro states the outage ranged as far as 30th Street SE to the downtown core to First Nations Road and along Foothill Road to Silver Creek.

Hydro spokesperson Kevin Aquino said the outage was caused by a broken primary insulator.

Ceramic insulators are located at the top of power poles and are tied to primary wires, which sit on top of the insulator.

This keeps the pole from becoming energized, Aquino said.

At the pole in question, which is located at 471 Fifth Ave. SW, near the intersection of Fifth Avenue SW and Fifth Street, three lines are attached.

Some residents reported seeing a bright flash of light across the valley just as the power went out.

“When the insulator broke, the primary wire made contact with another line connected to the power pole…,” Aquino said. “It caused the lines to arc.”

Similar to what happens in welding, a bright light was produced.



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