CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fire at electrical substation leaves 7,700 cus - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fire at electrical substation leaves 7,700 customers in the dark

(Source: National Weather Service, Lubbock, TX) (Source: National Weather Service, Lubbock, TX)
(Source: Shannon Scarlett) (Source: Shannon Scarlett)
(KCBD: Shannon Scarlett) (KCBD: Shannon Scarlett)
(Source: Margaret Santucci) (Source: Margaret Santucci)

Thousands lost power in West Lubbock Monday morning after an incident at a power substation overnight. Just after 2:00 Monday morning there was a fire at a substation at 11th and Milwaukee Avenue. A transformer blew at 4th and Slide Avenue.

According to an LP&L spokesman, they experienced an equipment failure at a major substation in west Lubbock, which affected more than 7,000 customers. LP&L says there was an equipment failure at the McDonald's substation around 2 a.m. That substation is located on Milwaukee Avenue between 4th and 19th streets. 

Officials say something sparked the riser at 11th Place and the line of electricity overheated, causing an explosion and a fire. What everyone saw was the arc of electricity. The exact cause of the fire, what caused the spark in the riser, is not known at this time.

"It could've been anything from an animal to perhaps a lightning strike that happened within the last month that weakened that line. We're gonna try to define the root cause of it if we can, but what we know right now is that we have damage to our equipment both inside and outside the substation, and so although we have all customers back up, we want to make sure that we go through and we solve this problem so we don't have any further issues in the coming days," said Matt Rose, LP&L spokesman. 

LP&L crews are staying on the scene all day to make sure everything is up and running out here and to investigate what happened.

Rose also says because this is such a rapidly growing area, they were already planning on including upgrades to the substation and lines on Milwaukee in their capital budget, so they hope to be working on that soon.

The polls affected are charred. The equipment inside the substation used to identify faults like this malfunctioned.

Lubbock police officers directed traffic at several intersections where traffic lights were down. The affected intersections were Milwaukee and Canyon West entrance, 43rd and Milwaukee, 34th and Milwaukee, 19th and Milwaukee, and 19th and Iola. 

Power lines were down at Milwaukee Avenue and the northbound lanes were blocked off from 19th street to 4th street.

KCBD spoke with representatives at Lubbock ISD who say some schools were affected but power is on there and classes will resume as normal. According to Frenship ISD, they were also affected. However, they believe power will be restored and classes should start on time. 

According to the US National Weather Service in Lubbock, arcing occurred for several minutes following the incident. 

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