Power Outage at Linfield

Annika Lindburg, Staff Writer

The Linfield community wonderd why Linfield had to shut off the power around Riley, Whitman, Pioneer and the elevator at Melrose.

An email from Allison Horn, the director of facilities and auxiliary services at Linfield College provided little information. “McMinnville Water & Light will need to shut off power to make an emergency repair.” The power outage started at 10:30 a.m. and ended an hour earlier than expected, at around 4 p.m.

The engineering and operating manager at McMinnville water and light, John Dietz explained what happened. “Had a bad cable that we replaced. Had to turn off the power for safety. It’s a three phase system and three wires are energized. We have to open all three in order to check on any of them,” Dietz said.

“A wire that runs from a pole shortened out. It caused Linfield to loose some power from the transformer,” Horn said. “The wire was installed in 1997,” said Horn.

Dietz also provided more information about the wires Linfield uses. “Normally, we can’t inspect the wire because it’s in the ground and are energized. We check the wires on a ten year cycle,” said Dietz.

Dietz hasn’t looked at the report from yesterday yet but offered a few reasons for why this happened. “Sometimes the wire fails for a number of reasons. It could be because the wire is old, or a manufacturer error.” Dietz added that the Linfield community can rest easy. “Everything is fixed now,” Dietz said.