FLORIDA - Power Outages Hit Lower Keys

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[Fair use for education and research purpose only] FLORIDA KEYS Published Thursday, May 11, 2000, in the Miami Herald

Title: Power outages hit Lower Keys

BY JENNIFER BABSON jbabson@herald.com

KEY WEST -- They didn't last long, but several power outages on Tuesday and Wednesday did cause some headaches in the Lower Keys, not to mention quite a few flashing alarm clocks.

Wednesday morning, a motor in a transformer on White Street burned, shutting off power to about 175 customers in the Old Town and Trumbo Point sections of Key West.

The outage lasted only a few minutes, but was the third blackout in two days, said Lynne Tejeda, spokeswoman for the Key West-based City Electric System, which provides electricity to about 26,000 customers from Key West to the Seven Mile Bridge.

On Tuesday afternoon, air conditioners stopping whirring for more than an hour on parts of Big Coppitt Key, Boca Chica, and Rockland Key after a truck struck an electricity pole.

A few hours later, at 5:17 p.m., lights shut off and computer screens went dark in 7,600 Key West homes and businesses because of a technical glitch on Big Pine Key.

That outage lasted a mere five minutes -- long enough to cause problems for some businesses.

``We had a flicker which caused some computer problems,'' said Jeff Wasson, innkeeper of the Cypress House on Caroline Street in Key West. ``Usually in the summer we have quite a few.''

The last outage in the lower Keys occurred at the end of March, when a breaker failed in a substation on Big Coppitt Key.

Summer is the worst time for power outages, but not for the reason many people believe.

``Sometimes we have more, and that's not due to load, as is commonly thought,'' Tejeda said. ``All of our equipment is mechanical equipment and during the summer, it is more likely to overheat or have operational problems.''

Copyright 2000 Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/content/today/news/keys/digdocs/048814.htm


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