CPPD Battles Outage in Thedford All Wednesday Night

THEDFORD – Between 8 and 9 p.m. Wednesday evening, between blowing snow and nosediving temperatures, one of the Thedford substation’s three transformers failed, leaving the town, as well as nearby Seneca and Mullen, without power for most of the night.

Rick Nelson of the Custer Public Power District said that the deteriorating outdoor conditions helped to cause the power failure, and made the work of determining which specific transformer gave out extremely difficult.

“When we got there, the test equipment had a hard time operating at those temperatures, so the dials froze up; even the digital readouts weren’t working. It took us all night to decipher which transformer went bad.”

Work at the substation went on for most of the night; a new transformer was successfully delivered to Thedford at around 10 p.m., according to Nelson, but the work of testing it and ensuring its sustained operation in the winter weather occupied his team’s evening hours.

“We’ve got 7 or 8 guys up there that have been working pretty much all night,” Nelson said during an early morning check-in with KCNI/KBN, “I think we’re to the point where the substation’s going to become hot. People should start to have their lights back on.”

Nelson urges those who are still experiencing outages in the area after 8 a.m. Thursday to report them to Custer Public Power.