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Power knocked out to 2,500 Medford homes

Power was knocked out to 2,500 homes in parts of downtown Medford and throughout south Medford Saturday afternoon, according to local officials.

“We have signals out in various intersections in the downtown, and all of Barnett Road is pretty much out of power,” Medford police Corporal Trevor Arnold said Saturday evening.

No accidents were reported as a result of the outage, Arnold said. However, the outage was creating problems for many businesses in the south Medford area, he said.

Monte Mendenhall, Pacific Power spokesman, said the outage was caused by a failure at a substation and affected about 2,587 homes. The outage occurred at 3:46 p.m. when Pacific Power experienced a problem with a transformer.

Power was restored to about 1,500 customers at 6:13 p.m. Because of the hot weather, the power to the remaining 1,022 customers was expected to be restored over the next few hours.

“We don’t want too much load all at once and then have another fault,” Mendenhall said. “We will continue throughout the evening in picking up the balance of the customers.”

The Belnap Substation off South Pacific Highway near Skinner Automotive is the location where the power shut down.

The cause of the outage appears to be a transformer, but when engineers energized the circuit, the transformer appeared to be operational, Mendenhall said.

Engineers will be trying to detect additional faults on the line to determine whether there is some other problem in the system, Mendenhall said.

He said Pacific Power couldn’t determine whether the hot weather played a factor in the power shutdown.

“We’re still investigating,” he said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.