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Sailboat knocks out power on Sanibel

By Staff | Feb 15, 2013

Nearly 10,000 LCEC customers were without power for a short time on Feb. 8 when a sailboat made contact with a transmission line. The power interruption occurred about 7:45 a.m.

Power was restored in as little as five minutes, according to LCEC.

In a separate announcement, LCEC will suspend its maintenance and construction project on the island until after Easter in order to minimize the impact on traffic and inconvenience for visitors and residents during the peak season.

LCEC currently is rebuilding the lines along San-Cap Road to reduce interruptions and strengthen the overall power system. The current phase of the project installing a new pole at a busy intersection may cause longer than usual traffic stoppage and should be completed by Feb. 21.

The next phase will begin after Easter and LCEC estimates the entire project will be completed by the end of the year. Progress will be determined by the challenges and severity of storm season.

Rebuilding power lines while they are energized, so that customers do not experience an outage, requires a temporary connection of the wires to the pole. It is a sensitive process. Temporary connections are prone to failure during high winds and more susceptible to damage from lightning. In addition, productivity of crews is diminished by the daily afternoon thunderstorms. An active storm season could delay the project further.