Brief Power Outage Explained

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

Despite our best efforts, an equipment failure caused problem

We had something very unusual happen here at TheNewsCenter this week. We had a power outage that took all of our stations down and shut us down completely for about two hours on Wednesday. This didn’t happen even in the derecho that hit our area in the summer of 2012. But here was a perfectly calm day and we were without electricity. It turns out that a large electrical transformer in our building failed and had to be replaced. What makes this so unusual is that we have taken many steps in the past few years to make sure this never happens, particularly in times of big news or major weather events. We installed large diesel-powered generators at our studio in downtown Parkersburg and at our main transmitter site. We also installed a huge UPS – Un-Interruptible Power Supply – at our Parkersburg location. This UPS and our generator have meant that for nearly seven years, we have never had a power outage that totally knocked us off the air, off cable, and off satellite. Usually, when there a utility pole knocked down somewhere downtown, our UPS picks up on that, powers the building until the generator gets up to speed, and we go on our merry way. The lights don’t even flicker. But this transformer failure brought everything to a screeching halt. I’d like to thank our Engineer Kevin Buskirk and also Mike Zoller from McHenry Electric, who just happened to be here when the outage occurred, for tracking down the problem and getting us back on the air so quickly. We were still able to get out some news via our webchannel – and our mobile product…TNC NOW. We have replaced the broken parts and stand ready to stay on the air – un-interrupted – once again. That’s this week’s editorial.

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