Power outage affects nearly 6,200 customers

Joshua Kellogg
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — More than 6,200 Farmington Electric Utility System customers were without power for nearly two hours Monday after a crossarm supporting a transmission line broke, shutting down three distribution substations, a utility official said.

The power outage affected the College, Foothills and Fruitland substations, according to Rodney Romero, acting utility director for the Farmington Electric Utility System.

Romero said the outage started at 2:47 p.m. and initially affected 6,240 customers. Power was restored by 4:44 p.m., he said.

He said the outage started when the crossarm on a 115 kilovolt transmission H-frame structure broke, causing a powerline from the Shiprock substation to fall and short circuit.

"It's pretty unfortunate, it's not something that we want to happen but it happens," Romero said.

Romero said it was a slow restoration process to turn the power back on since crews had to switch each substation on one at a time.

The line was scheduled for maintenance, according to Romero. The electric utility was advised to hold off on maintenance until fall, after the summer peak load season is over.

Areas along College Boulevard including San Juan College's Main Campus are powered by the College substation.

The college closed its Main and 30th Street campuses in Farmington and West Campus in Kirtland Monday night due to the power outage.

Spokeswoman Rhonda Schaefer said students, staff and faculty were asked to leave the college grounds following the power outage.

All night classes at the three campuses were canceled.

The East Campus in Aztec remained open and held evening classes.

Class registration has been extended to 5 p.m. on Wednesday due to the power outage.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.