May 6, 2009
About 6,500 Columbus residents this morning were without power for nearly 40 minutes as crews with the Columbus Light and Water Department worked to repair damage from a lightning strike.
The planned outage began at about 10 a.m. after lightning struck a power line tower behind the Family Dollar store on Highway 182 during a morning thunderstorm.
"When the lightning struck that tower, it caused one of the distribution lines to wrap around another distribution line," said CL&W General Manager Todd Gale. "It was close to our College Street substation, and it was a pretty dangerous situation.
"It was just a whole lot safer and quicker for us to get TVA to cut power to that substation until we could untangle those power lines," Gale added. "We had a little bit of notice to contact emergency management, WCBI, MUW and all of the schools that were going to be affected."
Much of the western part of the city, including The Dispatch, Franklin Academy, sections of Highway 45 North and downtown Columbus, were affected by the outage. However, no traffic accidents or other incidents were reported during the outage, according to the Columbus Police Department.