Power restored on six traffic lights in downtown Amarillo

How the construction incident happened.
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 9:47 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Power has been restored in downtown Amarillo after a construction incident at the Potter County Courthouse resulted in a power outage at six traffic signal locations Tuesday.

The power outages occurred between 5th and 6th Avenues on the intersections of Buchanan, Pierce, Fillmore and Taylor.

To keep the public safe, the city added temporary stop signs to the intersections at the side streets leading up to major intersections.

“We’re monitoring closely in our traffic management center to make sure that traffic is flowing properly to make sure that we don’t see anything that could be dangerous to the motoring public. But so far, everyone has done a great job commuting through downtown and we haven’t seen any issues with that, so those speed limits are staying the same at this time,” said Donny Hooper, director of public works for the City of Amarillo.

Crews worked all day and night to fix the issue ever since it happened.

“As soon as we found out about it, we dispatched our traffic department out there to start looking into this to see what we could do. Then I started putting some backup measures in place, that if this was going to be an extended outage over a long period of time, what we would have to do to get each of those intersections back up,” Hooper.

The city worked with Xcel Energy together to get the power restored.

“We actually have a meter rack that is fed there by a transformer. During that incident, that meter rack was damaged and that’s what provides power to these different intersections that are in the downtown business district,” said Hooper.

In a statement from the director of facilities for Potter County, Nicholas Wade wrote that around 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday “one of the subcontractors on the job site damaged the power distribution panel that feeds the nearby traffic signals.”

He continues to say Xcel Energy and the City of Amarillo had nothing to do with the outage, but have to make the repairs, similar to when a vehicle hits a power pole.

Thankfully there were no injuries to anyone resulting from the disruption of service according to Wade.

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