PSNH finds power line sagging from heat & high demand caused Friday outage

LACONIA — A spokesman for Public Service of New Hampshire said yesterday that a "sagging section" of a power line caused the first power outage that hit the Gilford and Laconia around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, causing 7,000 people to lose electricity.
Media Relations Manger Martin Murray said a section of line sagged because of the heat and high electrical demand and made contact with a tree beneath it. He said that power outage lasted about 70 minutes and power crews removed the tree.
The second power outage at 7 p.m. was caused by a failed splice and effected the same customer area. Murray said they believe the second outage could have been caused by the stressed placed on existing lines by the first outage.
The second outage, that affected the same area of McIntyre Circle to Ellacoya State Park, the Weirs, Governors Island, the Laconia Municipal Airport and three neighborhoods in Gilford, took 3 1/2 hours to restore, said Murray, because the entire section of line needed to be replaced.
He said a crew walked the entire line yesterday morning to check for additional vegetation and splices that could be at risk for future failure.
Murray said there was a "separate, third, outage" that effected customers in the Hilliard Road area of Laconia but at 1:05 p.m. yesterday he was still looking into the cause.
Gilford Fire Chief Stephen Carrier said yesterday his department responded to two electrical-related calls Friday afternoon. One that reported an "transformer explosion" on Flower Drive at 3 p.m. (off Sleeper Hill Road) and one for a downed power line on Pinecrest Drive where a line fell and shorted the electrical panel on a residents home.
He said he doesn't know if the power outage caused either event or if the two events were the result of the power failure.