Power Struggle

A major power fault caused widespread blackouts Sunday evening in the city of Jamestown.

Line workers from the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities were scheduled to look for a cause of the power failure today. The fault occurred in the major, 35,000-volt line connecting BPU’s substation on Dow Street to the power plant on Steele Street, officials said.

“At this time no cause has been determined,” said Becky Robbins, BPU communications coordinator. “Crews will be out there (today) to find the fault. We do know it occurred in the major line.”

The power outage occurred at 5:11 p.m. and was restored shortly before 7 p.m. The majority of customers affected were in the south and west sections of the city, Robbins said.

Local residents told city fire crews they heard an explosion near the Washington Street bridge. Smoke was then visible at the Jamestown Furniture Exposition Building, 111 W. Second St. People on the third floor were evacuated as firefighters searched the structure, Lt. Bruce Sheldon of the Jamestown Fire Department said.

Shortly after 6 p.m., people were told they could re-enter the building. No cause of the smoke was identified, although officials were looking at a generator.

Officers from the Jamestown Police Department monitored major intersections while traffic lights were out. Two officers were called in to help with traffic, police Chief Harry Snellings said.

No accidents were reported as a result of the blackout, police said. Staff at WCA Hospital reported no incidents, as well.