Power outage tips

Published 11:10 pm Saturday, April 16, 2016

On Saturday morning, an unexpected power outage impacted the Selma area and left an estimated 1,100 people without electricity, according to Alabama Power.

The outage was caused by a limb that fell on a switch near the substation, which caused a wire to burn. A spokesman for Alabama Power said the end result was that the substation’s breaker flipped, causing the outage. That happened at around 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning and power wasn’t back on until well after noon for most people. Alabama Power was hard at work on the problem quickly, but because of its complexity it took a little while to get everyone back on line.

Although it’s rare these kinds of things happen — especially when there isn’t severe weather — this seems like a good time to review power outage tips.

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The American Red Cross lists several power outage tips on its website. One of the most important is that when the power out, traffic lights do not work.

Police officers directed traffic in some of the busier parts of town Saturday, but in other areas many drivers seemed confused as to what to do when approaching traffic lights that weren’t working. Drivers should treat each of those lights as a four way stop during a power outage.

The Red Cross also recommends unplugging any unnecessary electrical equipment and to leave one light so that you’ll know when the power is back on.

It’s also best to keep refrigerator doors closed as much as possible.  An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cool for about four hours.

For more tips, visit Redcross.org.