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March 17. 2012 11:04AM

Outage in downtown Manchester overnight caused by power surge says PSNH

MANCHESTER - An exploding switchgear knocked out power to about 160 downtown customers late Friday night.

Martin Murray, spokesman for Public Service of New Hampshire, said a large electrical surge about 11:30 p.m. Friday “blew apart the casing” that enclosed an electrical switchgear in the Millyard area near Commercial Street.

Power was restored by 3:30 a.m. Saturday and crews expected to complete repairs to the switch gear by noon Saturday.

Murray said a switch gear is a collection of circuit breakers and switches that are in an enclosure above the ground. He said early reports that a transformer had exploded were false.

The outage “had nothing to do with a transformer,” Murray said.

Jackie Favreau, sales manager at the Radisson Hotel, said the building lost power briefly, but generators were used until electricity was restored.

“The lights were only off for about 15 minutes,” she said.

She said the hotel experienced some lingering problems with computers and accounting systems into Saturday morning.

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