November 20, 2013

Power restoration sparks tree fire

Duke Energy representative: No customers will be affected.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — GALVESTON — A fallen tree resting on power lines north of Galveston started a short-lived fire after the lines were re-energized, but was quickly fixed Tuesday afternoon and won’t affect customers’ electricity, a power company representative said.

Crews from Duke Energy had been working in the area following Sunday’s storms and tornadoes, said Angeline Protogere, communications manager for Duke’s Indiana office.

Workers were re-energizing lines in the area and hadn’t known a tree had fallen onto a transmission line north of Galveston on U.S. 35.

Protogere said it is likely the tree ignited as the lines were being re-energized.

The fire had extinguished itself by the time crews arrived, Protogere continued, allowing workers to clear the tree from the line.

“They cleared the tree from the line and are now attempting to re-energize that line,” Protogere said at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Duke’s system forces lines to shut down in cases of fires, Protogere said, adding the line would not have to be replaced.

Protogere went on to say customers will not be affected by the incident, explaining that Duke’s system allows them to receive power from alternate routes.

According to Duke Energy’s website, 19 customers were without power in Cass County at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Following the storms Sunday, more than 1,700 customers were without power.