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Power outage to parts of Hagerstown causes traffic problems

July 18, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

A power outage at the beginning of rush hour in Hagerstown Thursday afternoon only lasted 51 minutes, but it was enough to cause problems after numerous traffic lights went dark, officials said.

Hagerstown purchases its power from FirstEnergy, and the outage was caused by a problem within the city’s system, said Dave Kline, manager of external affairs for the utility company.

The outage occurred when a circuit breaker was tripped in FirstEnergy’s system, Kline said.

Residents reported outages in the north end of the city, and the areas of Pennsylvania and Jonathan streets.

The county’s 911 center started to receive calls about the outage at 4:20 p.m., just as the city’s afternoon traffic rush hour was getting under way, officials said.

There was a minor vehicle crash at the intersection of West Washington and Walnut streets that was caused by a traffic light being out at the intersection, said Capt. Adam Hopkins of the Hagerstown Fire Department.

The outage caused confusion at intersections where traffic lights were out, and auxiliary police responded to direct traffic, Hopkins said.

Power started returning to affected areas around 5 p.m., officials said.

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