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Area hit by brief power outage on Tuesday

By By Paul Keane
Publisher
A relay switch in Flomaton performed exactly as it was supposed to Tuesday morning. Unfortunately for about 4,500 Alabama Power customers, that meant going without electricity for an hour or more.
Electricity was off at schools throughout Atmore, and many traffic lights were also inoperable as citizens made their way to school and work Tuesday morning. At about 6:30 a.m., a relay at the Flomaton Station was "tripped," causing electricity to be shut down. Power was restored to most customers by 8:30 a.m.
"There are relays all along our transmission lines," said Peggie Byrd, manager of the local Alabama Power office. "When something out of the ordinary comes across those relays, they shut down in order to protect the system and not cause further problems."
While the relays are sturdy and reliable, Byrd said sometimes "defaults" do occur, causing need to have them reset.
"The cause of this incident is still under investigation," Byrd said. "Right now, we don't know what might have caused the relay to shut down, but we were able to reset it and restore power to our customers."