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Lightning strike may be power outage cause

October 22, 2012 News Extra

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A possible lightning strike may be the cause of Monday’s power outage that forced 4,400 West Penn Power customers to take a mid-morning coffee break.

Rob Lombardo, spokesman for West Penn Power, said this morning that crews Monday evening found a piece of line equipment that was severely burned.

“It could have been a lightning strike that didn’t burn the equipment completely until Monday morning, then tripping a fuse at a substation, similar to the electric fuses in a house,” he said.

Lombardo said the equipment was replaced, and has been sent for study to see if the actual cause of the fire can be determined.

About 10:30 a.m. Monday, lights in parts of Butler, and Butler and Penn townships went out without a flicker.

Electric service was restored about 11:30 a.m. when the power company switched to a back-up distribution system.

Distribution lines for the area were switched back to the regular lines during the evening.

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