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Lightning-damaged transformer prompts HU to rent new one from TVA

By By Leada Devaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Utility is taking an insurance policy against another city-wide blackout in the form of a new transformer from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The 120,000 pound tranformer was wheeled into place at HU's substation on Barkley Bridge Road lastThursday. It will temporarily replace a transformer which was damaged by lightning Tuesday night.
More than 8,000 homes were left without electricity as a result of the lightning strike, which directly hit the 40-year old transformer. Power was restored after six hours, but, according to HU Board Chairman Buzz Howell, the city was down to using only one transformer.
"We were running on another 40-year old unit," Howell said. "If something happened to it, we could have been out for days. We've not even been able to shut one of them down to service it."
Howell said he doesn't think the lightning-damaged transformer will be salvagable and the city may be depending on the TVA transformer for a while.
"This is why we need another substation," he said. "This could have been our worst nightmare."

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