MED: Pole fire caused Sunday night power outage in Massena, Louisville
Monday, August 12, 2019 - 1:35 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week

MASSENA -- The northwest portion of the Village of Massena and most of the Town of Louisville were without power for a little over an hour last night due to a utility pole fire.

Matt Gray, Massena Electric Department deputy superintendent, said he believes the pole on Whitzel Boulevard was struck by lightning on Thursday night or Friday night. Whitzel Boulevard is near Alcoa.

The damaged insulator didn't ignite until Sunday, which caused a power failure around 7:45 p.m. Gray said some people in town may have noticed their power going out and then coming back on again, which is a safety feature built into the MED system. Power was restored around 8:50 p.m., Gray said.

"Our equipment operated the way it was designed to. We saw a lot of lighting on Thursday and Friday night," he said. "If people did see multiple … outages, that's what the system is designed to do. It's part of the protective scheme."

He said the repeated outages are designed for "where it is a just a momentary problem … so the whole circuit isn't affected for a long duration on a momentary outage."

He said Sunday night's incident was a "permanent outage" and required crews to find the source and fix it.