High winds, icy conditions cause power outages in Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls

The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS – Uncommon weather conditions on the desert between Idaho Falls and the Idaho National Laboratory combined to keep Idaho Falls Power (IFP) crews busy around the clock restoring and re-routing power to IFP Customers.

High, gusting winds combined with heavy ice loads on power lines caused power at the West Side Sub Station to go down on Sunday morning, as well as early Monday morning. As power was rerouted, subsequent outages at Rocky Mountain Power’s Sugarmill Substation on the east side of town caused IFP crews to manually have to reconfigure power to other city lines in order to restore service to city residents.

The outage Sunday occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. and impacted approximately 13,000 people. As power was manually rerouted by line crews, customers had power restored throughout the day, with the final power restored by approximately 1:30 p.m. The outage early Monday occurred in the same manner and in the same area. That outage occurred at approximately 3:15 a.m. with power restored over the course of the morning. Power had been restored in the city by IFP line crews by approximately 5:30 a.m. Monday morning.

Both Rocky Mountain Power and the Bonneville Power Administration own infrastructure involved in the outages and IFP is working with both agencies to troubleshoot the causes of the outages affecting Idaho Falls Power’s high voltage transmission system to avoid similar events happening.

“We’re always trying to be proactive and look for ways to prevent and minimize the impacts of outages as much as we can,” said Bear Prairie, IFP General Manager. “We’re working closely with RMP and BPA to make sure we can identify things that worked and didn’t work and to be as prepared as possible for weather events in the future. Freezing rain and high winds are a bad combination for an electric grid.”

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