Power outage leaves residents in the dark

A blown arrestor smokes on a Columbia powerline. / Ladd Egan

A blown power arrestor left 260 households without electricity in northern Columbia Wednesday night.

The outage effected blocks west of Rangeline, between Vandiver and Smiley Lane, including the Vanderveen subdivision.

Neighbors heard a loud boom and saw flashes on a power pole, where an arrestor caught fire. Columbia Water and Light responded to the scene to replace the blown part, and Columbia Fire Department personnel monitored the small flames, which extinguished quickly.

Columbia Water and Light responders told us this particular arrestor handles 8,000 volts of electricity at a time. It is not uncommon for arrestors to blow.

Power was restored to the neighborhood within half an hour.