Power outage closes school at Firth

Staff Writer

Schools in Firth were closed on Wednesday because of a power outage.
Rocky Mountain Power Company spokesman Dave Eskelsen said, "A power outage occurred at 6:50 a.m., affecting 1,011 customers in the Firth-Basalt area."
He explained, "A pole fire caused the outage. When it rains, the glass insulator can become contaminated. The surface of the insulator can short out; the electrical current can then cause a fire. The pole will be replaced at a later time but that can be done without disturbing power."
The decision to close the schools in Firth was made at 7:09 a.m. on Wednesday.
Firth Superintendent Sid Tubbs said, "We were told the power would be restored by 10:30 to 11 a.m. so the decision was made to close the schools."
"Patrons were alerted via the schools emergency broadcast system which alerts patrons by text and voice," he said. "Patrons sign up for this service at the beginning of the school year to make sure the numbers are current. We also call the television and radio stations to get the information to people as quickly as possible."
Tubbs explained, "It was kind of a scramble because it was so late."
Transportation Supervisor Kim Kunz said, "All but two of the the bus drivers (who have shorter routes) were already on their routes. Some of the kids were already on the buses when they were notified school was closed.
He added, "The bus drivers were contacted by radio; they took the kids back home. The drivers were asked to make sure someone was home."
Power was restored to the Firth and Basalt areas by 7:30 a.m., after the decision was made to close schools.
Actually, there were two separate outages in the Firth area.
Rocky Mountain Company spokesman Eskelsen said, "The first (power outage) occurred at 11:06 p.m. on Tuesday and affected 431 customers. The power was rerouted and power was restored (to most customers) by 12:17 a.m. on Wednesday. Power to the remaining 185 customers was restored at 3:56 a.m."
To read the entire story, read it in the Thursday, Jan. 11, edition of the Morning News.