Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 28, 2013

In the dark

Failed substation kills power for over 3,600 locations

A slew of businesses near U.S. 31 and downtown Kokomo went black Sunday afternoon and left shoppers in darkness after a large-scale power outage knocked out electricity to over 3,600 locations in the city, as well as traffic lights along major streets and highways.

Duke Energy representatives said the outage occurred around 1:10 p.m. after an insulator failed at a substation just east of U.S. 31 on East Sycamore Street. The failure may have been caused by a lighting strike, they said.

The company reported power was fully restored throughout the city around 5:15 p.m.

Traffic lights all along U.S. 31 stopped working after the outage, causing traffic to come to a virtual stand-still until police and other emergency personnel were dispatched to guide traffic through busy intersections at places like Markland Avenue and Sycamore Street.

Many businesses locked their doors during the event, taping up signs saying they were closed due to a power outage. Business parking lots all along U.S. 31 sat empty as people were ushered outside and forced to leave.

Half the stores in Markland Mall went dark. Electricity remained on in the other half, leaving the corridors of the mall in an eerie half-light.

Walmart closed during part of the outage, and employees at Best Buy stood guard at the doors to turn customers away. Meijer turned on generators and covered up their refrigerators to keep cold items from thawing.

Not every business decided to close up shop, however.

Erin Wynn from Rochester said she was inside Bed, Bath and Beyond when the lights went out, but employees brought out flashlights and let customers continue shopping. She said some customers used flashlights on their phones to peruse the aisles.

“We kept shopping, but it was kind of a strange feeling,” she said.

Storybook Express convenience store, 316 E. Sycamore St., stayed open too, selling food and cigarettes and writing down the prices. The store was only accepting cash.

“It’s business as usual, we’re just sitting in the dark,” said store owner Charnpreet Kaur, noting they could likely salvage most of the frozen items despite the outage.

Power came back gradually throughout the city. Electricity to most downtown locations was restored around 3:30 p.m. Nearly all the traffic lights were up and running by 4:45 p.m.

“This was a significant outage, but it’s something that has occurred in the past in Kokomo, particularity during storms,” said Angeline Protogere, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

Over 3,600 locations went dark in Boone County around the same time as Kokomo after officials say a squirrel got into equipment at a substation. Protogere said the two outages were not related.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Gary Rhum bringing music lessons to Catholic school Rhum Academy of Music's owner is set to give all students at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School music lessons next year as part of the school's curriculum. When Gary Rhum talks about why he loves to teach kids music, the long-time performer and instru

    July 28, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities. Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zoning requests from Functional Devices. At Monday’s regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan

    July 29, 2014

  • The Annex 01 Move-in date approaching at The Annex of Kokomo A new apartment complex catering to Indiana University students is ready for occupancy. Some students will be able to move into The Annex of Kokomo, located across the street from the IUK campus on Washington Street, as early as Aug. 1, while the maj

    July 28, 2014 6 Photos

  • Teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers heading back to classrooms starting this week are facing the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that's been retooled for the third time since 2009. Some teachers and district administrator

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS - KT072514 - Maconaquah celebrates 50 years - CLG Maconaquah alumni return to celebrate school's 50th anniversary Many fond memories were shared recently as 50 years of Maconaquah graduates gathered to celebrate as many years of Maconaquah High School history.But for all the reminiscing that took place, there was an equal amount of well wishes for “the next 50 y

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spirits high at Brickyard 400 SPEEDWAY – Despite threatening skies and chances of rain, fans at the Brickyard 400 were not disheartened by the forecast. Brickyard 400 race day dawned with rain and fog, and the sun broke through the clouds at mid-morning. Fans expected the race to

    July 27, 2014

  • NWS - KT072614 - Five Below Grand Opening - pic Five Below opening draws crowds

    Mary Martin is the director of marketing and business development for Markland Mall and, with four grandchildren, she's also a consumer looking for cost-effective deals which still leave her — and the kids — feeling satisfied. Martin was able to purc

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.