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Power outage leaves parts of Merced dark
BEE STAFF REPORTS (Published: Monday, December 04, 2000)
Hundreds of Merced County residents and businesses were briefly without power Sunday after an unknown quirk in the Merced Irrigation District power system triggered a widespread blackout.
The sporadic outage, which occurred shortly after 4 p.m., affected parts of Merced, Livingston, Hilmar and Delhi. Power was restored at 4:30 p.m.
No injuries were reported in the brief outage, but it was blamed for triggering a small fire in the kitchen of a north Merced Burger King and for causing two people to get stuck in an elevator at the historic Merced County Courthouse, said Bryan Donnelly, division commander with the Merced Fire Department.
"I didn't know there was an outage," Donnelly said. "Downtown, the street lights were on, business lights were on. It was kind of random."
MID officials could not shed any light on the power outage. One official said the agency continued to investigate the cause late Sunday.
Officials at the Turlock Irrigation District, though, said they, too, were flooded with phone calls about the blackout.
A Turlock Irrigation official likened the outage to a chain-reaction car wreck -- the initial "accident" triggered a string of relapses as power was re-directed to other lines, but the power line that feeds Merced County was "de-energized," the TID official explained.
-- Doris (email@example.com), December 04, 2000