Marquette BLP electrical outage impacts Chocolay, Skandia

MARQUETTE — A problem with a lighting arrester on a power pole caused an electrical outage for about 1,400 residents south of the city of Marquette Sunday morning.

Marquette Board of Light and Power’s executive director David Lynch said the outage was reported at 5:12 a.m. and power was restored to all residents by 12:10 p.m.

Lynch said outage was caused by a lightning arrester, a device used on power systems to protect other equipment from lightning and switching surges, on a pole just south of the rock cut on U.S. 41.

“We had icing overnight, the arrester may have had a crack in it, causing moisture to get in,” Lynch said. “It blew the ground-wire right off of the arrester and wrapped it around the pole.”

Lynch said repair crews spent a considerable amount of time locating the source of the unusual problem.

“I have been here 30 years,” Lynch said. “These types of outages are so rare — most are obvious, this one was really hard to find. You could not see the problem until you got up in the bucket truck.”

Once the issue was located, Lynch said, repairs took approximately 20 minutes.

Lynch said power was restored to about half of the affected customers before 10 a.m. Sunday.