Water & Light officials share details on weekend power outage

POSTED: 07:47 PM CDT Jul 09, 2013 
Columbia power lines
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

Columbia Water & Light officials are blaming equipment failure for the cause of a Sunday morning power outage that left 6,000 customers without electricity.

That outage was the fourth such outage ABC 17 News has reported since earlier this year.

While the city wants to improve its infrastructure, it does not believe it has reached a critical point yet.

Water & Light officials say most outages only affect about 30-40 customers and can be caused by several problems, including weather, fallen trees and wild animals.

However, with 900 miles of electric lines within the city, the utility company cannot always predict when the outage will happen.

"There are lots of things we can do to avoid the outages, but we can't control every piece of the system 100 percent of the time," said Connie Kaprowicz of Columbia Water & Light.

Kaprowicz says late July to early August is the period with the highest number of outages in the city. The best way to avoid them is to conserve energy especially in the late afternoon, she says.

Next Monday, the City Council will decide on the route of power lines for a new electric substation in south Columbia.

The project has an initial price tag of anywhere from $10 million to $97 million. It will be the first substation built in the city in more than 10 years.