OSAGE, Iowa – On Friday afternoon, a breaker for one of Osage Municipal Utilities’ generators that had been repaired was being put back into place. However when they went to install it, the system jammed leading to a shutdown of power in the city.
“We kind of had to do an emergency shutdown on this,” OMU General Manager Josh Byrnes said. “And then the second outage was planned and we had some electrical engineers on site working on trying to resolve the situation and get that taken care of.”
The two shutdowns effected the entire community of Osage. But through social media and phone calls, word spread about the planned outage Friday night.
“The post on our Facebook page and keeping people in the loop was really highly effective,” Byrnes said.
And local businesses and residents were grateful for the heads up.
“To have a small community like this and to have Josh Byrnes reach out because he works at OMU, I think the Facebook was very effective,” Taste and Piggyback Smoke Shack manager Rachael Kimmey said. “He even reached out and called us personally here at Taste and let us know that it was going to happen.”
“The feedback has been extremely positive from residents saying you know we were able to call our elderly parents and let them know that at 8:40 the electricity was going to go off and they should just be stationary,” Byrnes said.
He says it’s an uncommon problem to have and served as a learning experience.
“The engineers on site that were trying to help us resolve this were like we’ve never seen anything like this,” Byrnes said. “Just a mechanical failure and in the system that puts the breaker back into place.”
The first outage lasted about five minutes and the second was about 20 minutes long.