Berlin Citizens Reminded Of Planned Outage

BERLIN – The town’s electric customers will experience a planned outage Sept. 17.

Municipal officials are advising the town’s electric customers that their power will be out Saturday, Sept. 17, from roughly 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. The outage will allow crews to make a necessary repair to Berlin’s substation.

“The repair requires the entire substation be out of service,” said Tim Lawrence, the town’s electric utility director.

Lawrence has been talking about the need for the substation repair for weeks. When it came time to set the actual date, he said a Saturday was decided on so that the outage wouldn’t impact the work week or church on Sunday. Because the work is expected to take four to six hours, residents should plan on power being out from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.

“We did this [timeframe] once before when Delmarva Power upgraded their transmission line,” Lawrence said. “It just worked out really well.”

He added that most refrigerators were capable of keeping food cold six to eight hours even when the power was off as long as their doors weren’t opened too often.

Town officials have been sharing news of the planned repair on social media as well as on the town’s website and on utility bills. A rain date for the work is set for Oct. 8.

The repair that needs to be made is the result of oil leaking from the substation’s transformer through its gauges and into the control panel.

“The substation is the main point of power that serves the town,” Lawrence said.

He said the repair was expected to be straightforward and that crews would perform routine maintenance to the substation while power was shut down. This will be the first time crews have been able to do that in nearly 10 years.

“We’ll be doing multiple things while it’s shut down,” Lawrence said.

And while the oil leak hasn’t majorly impacted operations yet, he said the town wanted to ensure it was addressed before it did.

“We’re aware of it and want to repair it before something does happen,” he said. “To do that you’ve got to de-energize the entire substation.”

The town has compiled a list of frequently asked questions on its website for customer concerned about the outage.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.