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Power companies disagree on who caused outage

August 13, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

Allegheny Energy and Hagerstown City Light officials can't agree on who is to blame for Friday morning's power outage that left the downtown area without electricity for 22 minutes.

The outage, which began shortly after 9:20 a.m., was caused by workers doing routine maintenance on a breaker at the Maple Avenue substation.

The blackout affected much of downtown Hagerstown, reaching as far south as Wilson Boulevard and as far west as Wesel Boulevard.

"Allegheny Power told us they didn't think that the maintenance work on the breaker ... would affect us but it did," said City Light Manager Terry Weaver.

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Allegheny spokesman Allen Staggers said company officials know that when that breaker is taken out of service power from that substation to the city goes out. The substation is one of three that feeds the city's electrical distribution system.

Staggers said the city, which was twice notified in advance of the scheduled maintenance, should have changed the delivery point for the power to prevent outages.

Weaver said his department wanted to switch delivery points, but was told by Allegheny that was unnecessary.

Staggers said he didn't want to get into a contest over who was right or wrong.

"I wasn't there so I can't say that what he's saying is incorrect or not. I know our operations people feel as though the situation was communicated as it should have been," Staggers said.

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