Farmington customers see multiple power outages

FILE PHOTO/Southwestern Electric Power Company workers upgrade power lines in Fayetteville.
FILE PHOTO/Southwestern Electric Power Company workers upgrade power lines in Fayetteville.

FARMINGTON -- At least six power outages have created disruptions in residences and businesses in the past three months.

The latest occurred Thursday night when a sizable portion of thecity along the U.S. 62 corridor went without power for an hour and 45 minutes. According to information obtained from Swepco online, 804 customers were affected and weather was listed as the cause of the outage.

Fire Chief Mark Cunningham said lightning struck one of the new electric poles on state Arkansas 170 and caught the top of the pole on fire. Police blocked off Arkansas 170 -- also known as South Hunter Street from Briarmeadow Street to Wolfdale Road -- while crews worked to restore power.

The outage extended as far east as Farmington Village on Main Street, which retained power, although businesses in the complex were already closed when the outage occurred around 8:20 p.m.

Walmart Neighborhood Market, which closed for the night, marked the western boundary of the outage on Main Street. Exterior lights illuminated the parking lot, in contrast to other businesses nearby remaining in the dark. Other businesses along Main Street going east also lost power. The outage affected some neighborhoods off both sides of Main Street.

Power was restored about 10:05 p.m., but official notification power was back on didn't come for customers signed up for Swepco text alerts until 11:23 p.m.

At least seven power outages occurring within Farmington have been documented since Aug. 26. The last six have happened in a 93-day span.

An Aug. 26 outage began around 11:30 p.m. and power was restored by 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 27.

An outage began Feb. 4 around 1:15 p.m. That incident was caused by a truck traveling westbound on Main Street striking a utility pole at the intersection of Main and South Hunter which knocked out power to 1,500 Swepco customers including school buildings and businesses along U.S. 62 backing up traffic for most of the afternoon. Power was restored by 3:05 p.m.

An outage Feb. 24 began around 4:45 p.m. and power was restored by 5:40 p.m.

An March 24 outage began around 12:30 p.m. following another traffic accident at the intersection of Main and South Hunter when a semi-truck traveling west on Main Street caught overhead utility lines, causing lines belonging to Southwestern Electric Power Co. and Cox Communications to fall across the highway.

Once again traffic had to be diverted for an extended period of time. Police blocked off U.S. 62 from Broyles Street to the Arkansas 170 intersection while crews repaired lines.

According to Swepco, 1,616 customers were affected by the outage. The company restored power to about half of those at 2:11 p.m. and electricity for the rest of the customers came on at 4:45 p.m.

An March 31 outage began around 3:15 p.m. and was restored quickly by 3:30 p.m.

Storms caused power outages affecting 31 Swepco customers in Farmington and about 194 in Fayetteville. Ozarks Electric reported 1,804 customers in Washington County were affected.

A weather-related outage Thursday affecting 804 Swepco customers began around 8:20 p.m. Power was restored by 10:05 p.m.

NW News on 05/13/2020