RMU Customers in the central area of town experienced another lengthy outage on Saturday due to high winds and branches near faulty lines.
To correct this problem as quickly as possible, RMU Electric crews are being pulled off all other projects for the foreseeable future to place these lines underground. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
“After the second time this problem occurred, we began to rearrange funds and crews to complete this project,” said Jason Bird, Superintendent of Electric Operations. “It is our top priority right now.”
In a several block stretch along Lincoln Highway and North Main, lines are located in back yards where older trees, fences and sheds make bringing crews in to access the easement fairly difficult. In one area, two separate feeders are located on a 6 foot cross arm with three lines on each side of the pole that are only eight to ten inches apart. When a tree falls on these lines, multiple lines come down causing a phase to phase fault creating a large outage. The latest outage affected 478 customers.
Lines in this area will be buried underground to avoid the effects of the wind and falling branches. A contractor has already placed the piping underground and RMU crews will pull the wires through next.
“We extend our sincerest apologies to every business and residential customer who has been affected by these recent outages,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh. “We are committed to correcting the issue by the end of the year.”