Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Crash causes city to lose power Sept. 30


Just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 30, a vehicle struck an electrical pole near the cemetery and caused a power outage through parts of Kimball for five or more hours. The driver fled the scene of the accident.

The city was without power until almost 6 a.m. However, even after that the western portion of downtown was still experiencing issues with power from Chestnut to Burg streets. According to City Administrator Daniel Ortiz, everyone’s power was back on by 8 a.m. with the exception of three businesses.

The power outage did not affect the hospital adversely. According to Kerry Ferguson, Kimball Health Service’s Director of Community Relations and Foundations, it was barely noticeable.

“We barely noticed it here. The way our generators work is that if there is any shift in power or the power stops flowing from its usual source, the generator will kick on. We need to be able to keep machines running for people so we didn’t have an issue,” Ferguson said.

Much like the hospital, the Kimball County Manor also has a backup generator. While it is not as powerful as the hospital’s, it still provides necessary power in a pinch.

“It allows us to run some lights and gives enough power for necessary machines to be able to be plugged in and keep running,” said Bev Schnell, manor administrator.

The power outage proved to be a nuisance for others even though it went unnoticed by several. Castronics was one of the few that felt the adverse effects of the power outage.

“We had to send our people home. We lost production because of the outage. We had people standing around to see if we could wait it out and when we realized we couldn’t we sent them home,” said Castronics CEO Perry Van Newkirk.

Marilyn Patterson of Hometown Hardware confirmed that the store experienced quite a few issues.

“The power outage messed up our computer system. It was a problem because that computer system handles everything, from our inventory to checking out the customers,” Patterson said.

The store had to remain closed the Tuesday of the outage because of the adverse effect that computers.

There are still some repairs that must take place, and as a result later today, Oct. 9, power may be disrupted sometime after 6 p.m. There will be a temporary power shut off to make repairs to sections of the system that were impacted by the incident.

As of press time, the Kimball County Sheriff’s Office was not able to release any information regarding who may have collided into the pole.


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