April 18, 2014

Elyria
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Bad switch cuts power to Elyria`s north side

ELYRIA – A faulty electrical switch on a utility pole in the Abbe Road neighborhood is to blame for an outage that cut power to about 1,440 residents late Monday and early Tuesday, a FirstEnergy spokesman said.

The outage knocked out power to homes around Georgetown Drive, Livermore Avenue and a few surrounding streets for about four hours, said Mike Ball, of Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy company.

The outage lasted from about 10 p.m. Monday to 2 a.m. Tuesday, cutting power to residents like Margaret King, whose basement flooded in her Georgetown Drive home.

King said a backup battery-powered pump helped kick out some of the water in her basement, but she and her husband spent almost four hours bailing water because the pump couldn`t keep up with the water coming in.

King suspected the city pumping station also lost power, causing the backup in her home. But Terry Korzan, Elyria utilities superintendent, said that power to the city`s remote pumping stations is tied in to the Elyria`s main water pumping plant, not the same power lines that the general public uses.

“We had no outages at any pumping stations,” Korzan said. “Any problems we have come directly to the plant, and someone is dispatched immediately.”

Korzan said most of the flooding on Monday and Tuesday was caused by clogged lateral lines connecting houses to city lines. Elyria firefighters said they received no calls about flooding, while Elyria police received only a few calls from residents on Middle Avenue.

Korzan said residents mistakenly call police and fire services during basement flooding.

“We`re staffed here 24 hours a day,” Korzan said. “We`ll dispatch someone to go out and identify the problem for free. A lot of residents don`t understand that.”

Korzan said most lateral-line blockages are caused by residents who dump cooking grease down their drains, where the grease mixes with what`s in there and gets hung up on joints and other areas to create a cement-like clog.

The Elyria Public Utilities Department can be reached 24 hours a day at(440) 366-2211.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.