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IT’S MONDAY, SURE ENOUGH: DAY GETS OFF TO BLACK START

SHARE IT’S MONDAY, SURE ENOUGH: DAY GETS OFF TO BLACK START

A circuit breaker failure at a Utah Power & Light Co. substation caused power outages for up to about an hour in much of the northeastern part of Salt Lake City on Monday morning.

A Salt Lake Police dispatcher said she was not aware of any major problems resulting from the outage, but power was off momentarily - until emergency power-generating systems began operating - at the University Medical Center, LDS Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital.Power also was off at University of Utah Research Park, the State Capitol and in homes and businesses in the affected area.

Bob Patience, a UP&L region dispatch supervisor, said the breaker failure occurred about 7:32 a.m. at the McClelland substation, 840 S. McClelland St. (1040 East). The bulk of the outage lasted about 35 minutes, but some isolated outages lasted about an hour, Patience said.

At the U. Medical Center the power went off at 7:35 a.m. for about five minutes, then again at 7:55 a.m. for about 45 minutes.

Hospital spokesman John Dwan said the hospital has auxiliary power systems, which came on almost instantaneously, so patient care was uninterrupted.

All patient rooms had light. All respirators and life-support systems were working. Only areas not essential to emergency care such as medical records, administrative offices and public relations were in the dark.

It's an inconvenience, but there was no danger to patients, Dwan said, explaining that the hospital can operate 40 to 50 days with a diesel fuel auxiliary power system.

The power failure caused about the same types of problems at LDS Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

Don Thompson, Holy Cross vice president of support services, said there were two power interruptions totaling about 30 minutes at that hospital. But he said emergency generators picked up the power load in both cases. The first was at about 7:30 a.m. and the second about 8 a.m.

"The hospital did not experience any problems, but we did have to cancel our surgery schedule until the power resumed normally. We have emergency generators, which worked properly. But we don't start surgeries when we are without normal power," he said.

Thompson said that when power from UP&L resumed at about 8:20 a.m. "they (UP&L) are supposed to deliver power at 12,000 volts, but because of problems on their system they were delivering power at 15,000 volts. The result was that we had to stay on emergency generators longer and sustained some minor damage to things such as light globes. The latter problem was corrected in about 15 minutes," Thompson said.

At the State Capitol, the power went off shortly after 8 a.m. for about 10 minutes and then again at 8:20 a.m. for about five minutes. Sgt. Roger Aland of the Capitol security force said there were no problems.

"There aren't many folks around today. There were only a few people (inconvenienced). It gets dark in the Capitol when the lights go out," Aland said.

Aland said the governor's office has an emergency power system. So does the Capitol security office.

Mike Howard, the breakfast cook at Capitol Plaza Grill cafeteria adjoining the Capitol, said meal service wasn't interrupted for state employees because the cafeteria has a gas grill.

"It just stopped us for a few minutes in the kitchen because it got real dark."