(IDAHO FALLS, ID) — Police say it was a downed power line not serviced by Idaho Power that caused a brush fire close to the Rocky Point area. The fire eventually tripped a breaker and caused a massive power outage that affected over 13-thousand customers. This occurred shortly before 4pm Wednesday, and Pocatello’s finest had to shut down the Freemont Street access to the Rocky Point area so crews could work on it. A spokesperson for Idaho Power indicated that the outage was traced to a transformer in the substation, and that the line that distributes power to two large areas of the city were affected. Pockets of power began to return around 6pm. Power crews were patrolling lines looking for specific issues associated with the outage.
Because of the hot temperatures the transmission lines were running at full capacity with residential and commercial air conditioning as well as irrigation demands, and because of this it was difficult to restore power completely. There was a major concern for shut-ins and children alone at home relying on air conditioners and electric fans to remain cool. Traffic lights were also out in the affected area which caused traffic backups around the commute home. There was no immediate word on any accidents associated with the outage.
Susan Scutti, CNN
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com