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Jumper cable malfunction cuts power to four islands for three hours
— This version removes an incorrect description of a jumper cable in the second paragraph.
A jumper cable malfunctioned at the BPA substation on Lopez Island on Monday, knocking out power for more than three hours on Decatur, Orcas, San Juan and Shaw islands.
Power went out at 11:21 a.m. and was restored at 2:50 p.m.
"The outage today was caused by BPA equipment failure at the substation on Lopez, where BPA’s power comes into the islands," OPALCO Communication Specialist Suzanne Olson e-mailed.
"A jumper cable is a section of wire that connects the transformer and rigid work of the transmission structure to the transmission wire. The jumper cable has some give to it to take up any movement in the system so that the transformer and transmission lines remain stable. The brown out effect was caused when the jumper cable first broke away from its anchor and brushed back and forth, sometimes making the connection and sometimes not.
"All power has been restored at this time."