Lights out

Second power outage in a week darkens part of Marshalltown, surrounding area

At about 11:10 a.m. Monday, lights, phones and computers powered down as a large portion of Marshalltown experienced a power outage for the second time within a week.

“We had a brief outage (Monday), that lasted from 11:10 to about 11:20 (a.m.),” said Alliant Energy Senior Communications Partner Justin Foss a few hours after the outage. “It affected a large portion of the north side of Marshalltown and the surrounding communities north of there.”

He said the outage stems from one of the company’s major substations in Marshalltown and that the cause is still being investigated. About 9,000 customers lost power in Monday’s outage.

ITC Holdings Corp., a company partnered with Alliant that operates the transmission system, is overseeing work at the substation in question.

“This is one of the larger substations; it brings the power from the electric grid to town, once it gets to town, then we (Alliant) distribute it,” Foss said. “ITC is doing some major upgrade work at the substation, and we’re hoping that when all this work is done, we’ll have a very strong system for the Marshalltown area.”

A nearly identical outage occurred last week in the late evening of Oct. 31 into the early morning of Nov. 1, Foss said. The same geographical area was impacted and about 9,000 customers lost power.

“It was the same thing, the same stuff was going on,” Foss said, adding “faulty equipment” was to blame for the outage last week. “They’re still looking for the cause of that one.”

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