Straight-line windstorm knocks out power

By Lynn R. Parks

Over the course of three days, the city of Seaford experienced two power outages. The first, early Saturday morning, was because of the storm and high winds that tore through the area late Friday night. The second, early Monday morning, was due to a failure in the system that feeds power to the city lines from Delmarva Power.

In the first outage, about 1,500 people were without power. The second outage affected the entire city.

On Sunday, Mayor Bill Bennett said that Saturday morning's storm "blew down trees all over town." Those trees "took down power lines and poles from Westview to LifeCare at Lofland Park," he added.

In addition, lighting hit the city's central substation, damaging one of the main transformers.

The city's electric crew was at work by 12:30 Saturday morning, Bennett said. In addition, workers were called into city hall to man the telephones.

First order of business, Bennett said, was getting power restored to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the Methodist Manor House and LifeCare. Following that, crews worked to restore power to neighborhoods throughout the city. All power was back on by 8:30 that evening.

Then crews worked on the damaged transformer to get it up and running.

"The electric crew put in a 20-hour day to restore power to our customers," Bennett said. "The office staff worked a long day to answer calls and call people back to make sure their power had been restored."

In addition, Bennett said, public works crews responded to remove debris from roadways and to help members of the electric department with clearing trees. "City manager Dolores Slatcher and assistant city manager Charles Anderson also put in a long day, riding around the city and looking at reports to prioritize the response list," Bennett added.

Monday's outage lasted from 5:50 to 7:15 a.m., city spokeswoman Trisha Newcomer said. After the connection between the city's power lines and Delmarva Power failed, she said, the utility company was able to shift the city's electric feed.

"The city would like to thank all of our residents and customers for their patience and understand during these outages," Newcomer said. "Our crews strive to ensure power is restored in the safest and most efficient manner."

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