Alliant responds after line cut, fuse blown in St. Pat’s power outage

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An Alliant Energy crew responded and repaired the damaged line and blown fuse at St. Patrick School Friday. Photo courtesy Bob "Stub" Smithson

St. Patrick School in Perry dismissed students at noon Friday after a power outage cast the school in darkness and unconditioned air.

Bob “Stub” Smithson, maintenance director at the school, said the power loss occurred when “the company boring underground for our fiber optic hit a high-voltage line behind the school.”

The out-of-state company laying the fiber optic line was under contract with Minburn Communications, which provides the school its high-speed internet, Smithson said.

Alliant Energy dispatched a crew to repair the power line, but the utility headaches were not over.

“While Alliant is digging and trying to find the break underground, the same underground boring crew hits another line — a primary line — and the fuse on the pole goes off like a bomb,” Smithson said.

The Alliant crew worked on in the 90-degree heat and finally restored power to the school about 7:30 p.m.

“Alliant Energy crews are awesome!” said Smithson, who was also grateful to St. Pat’s supporters Dick Lundstrom, Jon and Kim Peters and Scott Hughes, who stepped in to temporarily store the perishable items from the school kitchen during the repairs.

“Without them, we would have lost it all,” Smithson said.

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