Interruption of subdivision scheduled for Wednesday

County News:

After Sunday’s citywide blackout, residents and businesses in the city of Los Alamos are patiently waiting to hear when a system repair will take place. This repair is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

The townsite is on two power lines supplied by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). When one of those lines failed on Sunday, all electric customers were moved to the other supply line, doubling its usual electric load. LANL utility crews and Los Alamos Department of Utilities (DPU) electrical distribution personnel worked together to schedule repairs to the line.

Customers in North Mesa and Barranca Mesa will be affected by the repair, as well as North Community, Chapel Apartments, the Denver Steels area, and Aspen Elementary School.

Los Alamos High School shouldn’t lose power.

The LANL team will begin work Wednesday at 8 a.m. and won’t know the full impact until after they begin. They expect to have to de-energize the damaged power supply line around 11 a.m., which will cut power to the affected areas. Depending on the severity of the damage they find, the outage can last from 1 to 8 hours.

To reduce the number of utility customers affected by the repair, LANL and DPU have coordinated to relocate DPU West Area, East Area and Downtown customers to other LANL feeder lines that are generally not used to safeguard the urban site.

Customers in affected areas who have medical equipment that relies on electricity should have alternative equipment and/or plans ready.

To avoid outages due to system overload, DPU asks townsite customers to reduce their electricity consumption as much as they reasonably can while the townsite is powered by a single feeder line. If all goes well on Wednesday, these tips will end when power to the mesas is restored.

In the meantime, residents can continue to help reduce energy use by postponing laundry and running the dishwasher, lowering thermostats a few degrees (especially when away from home), and turning off lights and electronic devices that are not actively used.

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