SMUD on track to restore power to hundreds of downtown Sacramento customers by Friday

Local News

The Latest – Thursday, Dec. 16

7:40 a.m.

SMUD says power has been restored to all customers. Read more here.

The Latest – Thursday, Dec. 16

5:15 p.m.

SMUD said customers still without power after Tuesday’s substation fire should expect to have their power turned back on by 6 a.m. Friday.

First, however, crews will need to move all customers whose power relies on the damaged network onto another network at Substation A. SMUD said that’s because the damages caused by the flames could not be fixed.

“Before we can safely transfer the power, crews must ensure power is isolated at 55 separate downtown locations. This is equivalent to making sure the main breaker in your home electrical panel is off before doing any electrical work,” SMUD explained in its most recent update.

The process will start at 1 a.m. Friday. SMUD said it has told customers from the two networks that power will need to be turned off for no more than five hours so they can transfer hundreds of customers onto the working network at Substation A.

11:55 p.m.

The Theatre of Lights performance scheduled for Thursday night has been canceled due to the power outage.

Original story below:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — SMUD said 550 downtown Sacramento customers will need to wait until Friday before they can get their power back on after a fire badly damaged a substation Tuesday.

Crews have been working to repair one of three networks at SMUD’s Substation A in the area of H and 7th streets.

The Sacramento utility said the dayslong power outage is “due to the magnitude of the damage and the amount of equipment involved, as well as the tight quarters and confined workspace.”

SMUD said the fire did not damage the historical building nearby, which was mostly empty. The Old Folsom Powerhouse Station A is a historical landmark and was constructed in 1894.

A proposal submitted by SMUD earlier this year said the utility was looking into decommissioning the substation at the Old Folsom Powerhouse.

What caused the fire is still unknown, SMUD said.

It’s expected a transformer exploded in the blaze and SMUD crews de-energized two networks at the substation. Those networks provided power for about 750 customers in downtown Sacramento. They had their power restored by Wednesday morning.

The outage impacted major downtown buildings, like the Sacramento Main Jail and the Sacramento County Courthouse.

“Between yesterday afternoon and this morning’s downtown court closure, over 1,400 civil and criminal cases will be rescheduled due to this significant event,” said Deputy Director Kim Pedersen with the Sacramento County Superior Court.

A 12-story building that houses hundreds of senior residents was evacuated after the fire rendered the building’s fire suppression system unsafe.

SMUD said it worked with the American Red Cross, the city and community partners to provide evacuees with medical equipment, oxygen, hotel stays, shelters, generators, meals and transportation.

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