The failure of a DC back-up power unit is believe to have caused a city-wide power outage in Neligh on Wednesday afternoon.
City Superintendent Dean Bly said Neligh's electrical department had just finished testing the amount of power the diesel generators could produce. Bly said while the power was being switched from the generators back to main power, it's believed the DC back-up power unit failed.
"We believe that caused the circuit breaker to cut out, which meant we could not switch back to the main feeders from generation to main power," Bly explained. "Every month we test the generation plant, and this has never happened before. It was a mechanical issue, which can happen. We're going to continue investigating this to ensure it doesn't happen again."
Power went out at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the community. The generators were able to turn back on at 4:07 p.m.
City Clerk Dana Klabenes said the generators do not automatically turn on when an outage occurs and have to be turned on step by step in the process.
Power was officially restored to the entire community at about 5:45 p.m. The City notified residents that the power was back on and no longer running via the generators via the new Code RED system, which is an emergency phone and text alert system.
Klabenes said there were 1,208 phone numbers called using the alert system, as well as 158 emails and 292 texts sent. The alerts are not automatically generated and must be sent from a City of Neligh employee.
Klabenes said she had a Code RED alert ready to sent out when the generators kicked on, which was at 4:07 p.m. Klabenes said the alert was to notify residents and businesses that there was a power outage; however, once the power returned, she waited to send out the alert until more information was available since the generators were running.