Most of the city of Socorro was out of power for approximately three hours Tuesday evening. The outage, according to Socorro Electric Cooperative’s Jimmy Capps, was the result of a failed jumper line going into the main Socorro substation.
“A jumper is a wire that connects two voltages lines,” Capps said. “This one connected the Tri-State substation, on the north end of the city, with the Socorro substation which is about a mile south.”
He said the northern part of Socorro, including Escondida and Polvadera areas, was not affected because there was a line coming directly from the Tri-State substation. But those customers in the rest of the city, which is fed from the Socorro substation, were out.
“So, anybody fed off of that was out of power for that duration,” Capps said. “Because the six circuits feeding that part of the city were out of the affected substation.”
He said, by all indications, the failure of the jumper wire was possibly due to normal wear and tear over time. In this case, several years.
“It’s sitting in this metal shoe kind of thing, which basically is a contact point. That’s what is attached to the wire to hold it in place,” he said. “So anytime you have any kind of vibration or wind over the years it can break.”
Animals, such as squirrels chewing on them or birds pecking on them, can be a factor as well (to the detriment of the animal).
Load on the wire can also be contributing factor.
“It was also probably soft, because of the heat from the load – electricity – coming through them,” he said.
Capps said the major outage occurred at 5:56 p.m. and power was restored at 9:45 p.m.
Smaller, locally confined outages were reported Wednesday morning.
The real-time outage map can be viewed at https://outage.socorroelectric.com/