Much of New Albany was plagued by intermittent power failures lasting almost six hours the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, April 15th.
Officials of New Albany Light, Gas, and Water (NALGA) said the system began experiencing problems around 4:30 in the afternoon Wednesday. The outages affected a large part of the NALGW service area stretching from New Albany High School south down both sides of Highway 15 and west along both sides of Highway 78 to the Glenfield area. This included Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County and the area around the Wal-Mart Super Center. The power outage included some areas as far west as Munsford Drive.
In parts of the affected area the power was on and off again several times while the problem lasted.
The problems were apparently related to maintenance being performed by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) crews at the Butler Street substation in northwest New Albany. While the Butler Street substation was down for planned maintenance the circuits from the Butler Street substation were termporarily tied to circuits from other substations to allow the TVA work to be done. This began on Monday morning and was scheduled to go through Thursday.
According to NALGW General Manager Bill Mattox, “With the multiple circuits joined together trouble shooting was extremely difficult. We believe a combination of a heavier than normal load on the circuit along with either component(s) near failure or obstruction from tree limbs will be discovered to be the root cause.”
The exact cause of the outage was still unknown early morning Thursday.
TVA crews were called in late Wednesday to temporarily restore power to the Butler Substation so the circuit configuration could be returned to normal. “This lowered the load on all circuits and power was restored,” said Mattox. “At approximately 10:15 Wednesday evening power was restored to all of New Albany.”
NALGW crews remained on call through the night.
Mattox said, “NALGW crews will begin an extensive effort to determine the cause of the multiple faults at the start of their shift Thursday morning. TVA has agreed to suspend their system work Thursday until we find the source of the faults.”