Old Town power outage tied to ice buildup from snowmaking
Utility company describes an unusual set of circumstances on Monday
A swath of Old Town suffered a power outage Monday night caused by unusual circumstances tied to the snowmaking operations of one of the mountain resorts, Rocky Mountain Power said.
The outage impacted 1,250 customers in the neighborhood. It lasted from 7:43 p.m. until 8:21 p.m., the utility company said.
Dave Eskelsen, a Rocky Mountain Power spokesman, said snowmaking operations caused ice buildup on a power line. The company needed to open a circuit breaker, thus cutting off power to a section of line, to allow a Rocky Mountain Power crew to manually clear the ice. It is standard operating procedure to cut off power to a section of line when ice is manually cleared.
Eskelsen was not immediately sure how the company was alerted to the ice buildup. He was also not sure whether it was the snowmaking operations of Park City Mountain Resort or Deer Valley Resort that caused the buildup.
Eskelsen said he is not aware of another outage caused by ice buildup on power lines as a result of snowmaking operations. He called the outage on Monday night a “one-off event.”
Mayor Jack Thomas said on Tuesday City Hall understands the outage was tied to the snowmaking operations at PCMR. He said Park City Manager Diane Foster had information by Monday night linking the outage to the snowmaking operations.
Thomas said “rare conditions” involving temperatures and humidity were present at the time.
“Something happened they didn’t anticipate,” the mayor said, adding, “The parties involved will direct their equipment in another direction.”
A PCMR representative did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
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Deputies found Baird’s vehicle at a trailhead in the Sawtooth National Forest about 20 miles northwest of Ketchum.