Early-Morning Power Surge Traced Back to Single Broken Line

A snapped transmission power pole on the 2600 block of Coleman caused a power surge that affected residents around the city Wednesday morning.

It was around 7 a.m. when the pole snapped, causing lights to flicker in homes and businesses around town, and setting off emergency systems all along refinery row. Those systems triggered a number of flare offs at the refineries -- a safety measure designed to relieve pressure in the lines.

American Electric Power Texas explained how just one pole could cause such a commotion.

"A transmission line carries more voltage," said Andy Heines of AEP. "It was a 138 kilovolt line, as opposed to the distribution lines you see around town, and they're generally 12 and a half kilovolts. So the transmission line carries more voltage, so the effect was greater."

AEP said that all the lines have since been repaired.


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