By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
Simultaneous power outages mainly due to the bitter cold weather
left nearly 200 people in rural Mendon and the city of Celina
in the dark this morning.
Jeff Severns, electric superintendent for Celina Utilities,
said about 100 customers from the rural Mendon area were left
without power for about an hour and a half when an electric
line snapped about 7 a.m.
“Some of the lines up around the Mendon area are still
the old copper lines,” Severns explained this morning.
At approximately the same time, about 75 or so customers in
Celina to the west of Portland Street also were searching for
electricity when a power line — likely weakened by the
weekend storm — broke, he said.
“Any imperfections in the power lines can lead to a broken
line when it gets cold like this,” he said.
Customers in and around the west side were inconvenienced for
about 45 minutes, Severns said.
Celina Utilities serves 7,000 customers in a broad area that
stretches to the Indiana line. City crews now replace electric
lines with strong aluminum materials and inner steel, he said.
As funds and time are allocated, the older lines will be replaced,
The outage in the Mendon area led to at least one reported emergency.
A patient living in Union Township and relying on oxygen, summoned
a squad and was safely transported to an area hospital about
7:30 a.m. when the power didn’t immediately return.
Severns said his office has a priority list of customers to
whom they restore electric first. Currently, only about 20 people
are on the list, he said.
Temperatures are expected to remain frigid for the Grand Lake
St. Marys area, according to the National Weather Service. Highs
today were predicted to top out at 15 with west winds blowing
a stiff 25 mph, leaving wind chills well below 0.
Single digit temperatures are on tap overnight and highs aren’t
expected to climb above 30 degrees until Saturday.