Ice-rink work cuts off power

February 16, 1997


Staff Writer

A mistake by construction crews working on Hagerstown's new ice rink left hundreds without power for much of Saturday afternoon.

Hagerstown City Light Manager Terry Weaver said workers taking down the stables at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds accidentally hit a utility guide wire.

Weaver said the wire snapped, striking a high voltage line and interrupting electric service through the North End and parts of the eastern section of the city.

The power outage happened at 2:30 p.m. and lasted about an hour and a half, Weaver said.

Saturday's problem came exactly a week after the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new $2.1 million Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex. The ice rink is set to open this summer.


The power outage tangled traffic at major intersections throughout the affected area, according to Hagerstown City Police.

Volunteer fire police stationed themselves at the intersections to help with traffic flow, police said.

Between 300 and 400 homes were without power during the outage, Weaver said.

The general contractor for the project, LeRoy Myers of Clear Spring, said a bulldozer operated by one of the workers caught the electrical guide wire, which had been hidden by thick brush.

Also Saturday, workers discovered a gas line near one of the buildings being demolished, Myers said.

Columbia Gas was called to the site to check the line before work continued, Myers said.

Many building professionals in the community have volunteered their services to the non-profit Washington County Sports Foundation, which is raising community donations for the rink.

Normally, the city light department charges the contractor when an error leads to a power disruption, Weaver said.

However, he said he wasn't sure if that would be the case in this situation since the city is also involved in the project.

The ice rink will be built on seven acres of the fairgrounds. It is expected to open in August.

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