A problem with a transmission line left several thousand people in western Iowa without power for a time this morning. Atlantic Municipal Utilities director of operations, Greg Smith says there was some type of event with a 161-thousand volt transmission line between Avoca and Atlantic.

The power went out just after six A.M. and it came back on around eight A.M. The transmission lines serving western Iowa begins at the Mid-American plant in Council Bluffs and serves Avoca, Atlantic, Earlham and points east. He says the event caused two protection breakers to open, resulting in a loss of power to the town. It meant local crews had to inspect the local substation to make sure there were no problems.

Some 4,500 customers in Atlantic lost power. Smith says power was restored in about 20 to 25-minutes, but they couldn’t use it until precautions were taken to make sure the sub-stations’ systems were O.K. Smith says that’s accomplished by isolating and turning-on systems one-piece at a time until power is fully restored, to prevent further damage to transformers.

Smith says they still don’t know what caused the initial problem, but they’ve inspected the lines and related systems, and could find no evidence of damage. The power outage has resulted in classes being canceled in the Atlantic Community School District.