Equipment Failure Causes Saturday Power Outage in Winfield; Birds To Blame Sunday

An equipment failure and some pesky birds have kept city of Winfield utility crews busy working on power outages this weekend.

Late Saturday evening, an equipment failure affected the Viking substation in the eastern portion of Winfield, causing many customers to be without power. That problem was addressed by tying the Viking substation in with the city’s West substation.

Then on Sunday, birds caused more issues and outages.

Birds were landing on equipment at the West substation and popping a breaker that had to be manually reset. City manager Jeremy Willmoth said birds had not been much of an issue before and efforts are being made to keep them away from the equipment.

Willmoth expects to find out Monday how many customers were affected.

“The goal on the weekend and at night is just to get the power back on,” he said. “What made this worse is the incident on Saturday forced us to tie the West substation and Viking substation together, so when the West substation went down today (both times), it actually was taking both down.”

Willmoth praised the work of utility crews that addressed the outages.

He also said the city is aware it must do more to notify residents during widespread outages.

“I believe the City needs a social media presence,” he said. “We are working on a policy so we can do that. We are also going to look at our protocols and procedures for widespread outages and how we communicate that effectively in the future.”