Outage affects downtown

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2009

A power outage that set off security alarms and blackened redlights in downtown Brookhaven Wednesday afternoon was caused by anequipment failure, officials said.

Entergy Account Service Manager Kenny Goza said a disconnectswitch on a line on First Street in front of the LincolnCounty-Brookhaven Government Complex failed Wednesday afternoonaround 4:30 p.m., causing a blackout in the central business areathat ranged from approximately the First Baptist Church ofBrookhaven to the old post office, with scattered outages on thefringes of the area.

The outage affected around 200 customers in downtown and lastedmore than one hour until approximately 6 p.m., he said.

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“It was just an equipment failure,” Goza said. “It just failed -no particular reason.”

Goza said Entergy crews located the source of the outage andbegan working as quickly as possible while maintaining safety. Hesaid there have been no calls made to Entergy concerning damage toany electronic devices in the area.

The Brookhaven Police Department reported no accidents downtownwhen the red lights lost power.

All in all, the outage was not very significant. It didn’t evenslow business down at Foster’s Chevron on Monticello Street, whereowner Chester Foster sold goods in the dark.

“I sold goods out of here, made little tickets and they cameback this morning and paid for it,” he said of his regularcustomers, who were advanced their items in the absence of debitcard service. “It wasn’t that bad.”

Foster said Entergy responded quickly to the outage – “they gotright on it” – and the Brookhaven Police Department came to checkon him.

“I was impressed with the little shutdown,” he said. “They donea good job.”

First Baptist Church Associate Pastor Jeff Doremus said part ofhis church had power and part did not, but the Lord’s business wenton anyway.

“We literally had the same room with some things working andsome things that weren’t,” he said. “But it didn’t keep us fromdoing anything.”

Doremus said power was restored during a prayer meeting andWednesday night services continued as normal. Power was never lostin the sanctuary, he said, but even it had been, worship probablywould have continued anyway.

“We sure would have tried,” Doremus said.