POWER TROUBLE 9,700 affected by outage in and around Cortland
A resident saw lightning strike the pole.
CORTLAND -- A large contingent of Ohio Edison employees -- and a huge crane -- worked through the night and into daylight Friday to replace and repair equipment that left Cortland and surrounding areas in the dark.
The outage at one point affected nearly 10,000 customers.
State Route 305 at state Route 5 was closed as work progressed close to a railroad crossing there, where high-power lines on tall poles trace the rail bed to and from Warren.
The work area was cramped as a 95-foot pole burned by fire was secured and then replaced, said LuAnn Koch, Ohio Edison's area manager in Trumbull County.
The pole carries a 138,000-volt transmission line and a lower voltage distribution line. The fire led to the transmission line falling onto the distribution line.
"The total outage affected 9,700 customers. Of that, we were able through switching to bring many thousands of those customers back into power through the night," Koch said. Some 3,300 had no power Friday morning until work was completed.
Lightning possible culprit
What caused the fire was not known and will be looked into, Koch said. There were thunderstorms in Cortland this week. One resident saw lightning strike the pole, she added.
Once the new pole was raised, all of the transmission equipment was physically transferred onto it and the power load was tested.
Power went out at 6:15 p.m. Thursday and was restored for some Cortland residents by 12:15 a.m. Friday. The night was clear; had there been an overnight downpour, several basements could have been in trouble without power to their sump pumps.
Lights in some parts of Howland and Bazetta townships and Warren also were out for part of the evening, some only for a few minutes.