Workers checking power lines in search of cause

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FARMINGTON — The Farmington Electric Utility System's crews braved low winter temps to fix a power outage in the Crouch Mesa area that had affected more than 3,000 customers.

"We were able to get everyone on at 4:55 p.m.," electric utility director Hank Adair said via phone.

Some customers went to the utility's Facebook page shortly before 5 p.m. to report that their power was restored. Power went out around 2 p.m.

There were 15 reported individual outages, according to the utility’s website.

Adair said crews found ice on a high-voltage line and cleared the ice from equipment. He said due to the nature of high-voltage power lines, the crews used "an abundance of caution" while clearing the ice, and that's why it took until 4:55 p.m.

Temps in Farmington were hovering at 15 degrees at 5 p.m.

Facebook to the rescue

Adding to the utility's problems was a failure of the municipal phone system that left the utility with social media as the easiest way to communicate with customers, Adair said.

The utility updated customers on the progress crews made, and customers swapped information.

Customers also took to the utility’s Facebook page to thank crews that were working in frigid temperatures to search for the cause, and ask for an estimated time for a fix. By 4:30 p.m. there was still no estimate.

The utility posted online before 4 p.m. that “several crews are patrolling lines and trouble-shooting at this time, we will continue to update as progress is made. ... Thanks for your patience.”

The all-clear came via the FEUS Facebook page at about 5 p.m.

"At this time all customers in the Crouch Mesa area should be restored," FEUS posted. "If you are still experiencing an outage at your home, please check your service breaker and if re-setting that doesn't restore power, PLEASE Call our Outage line."

An online map updated every five minutes can be found and bookmarked at http://outage.fmtn.org:7576/ and used to track the utility’s progress during any future incidents.

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