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Power restored to eastern Idaho

Number of factors in massive outage

After nearly 12 hours of outages Wednesday, power was restored to thousands in eastern Idaho by 4:20 p.m.

The power had gone out shortly after 5 a.m. for more than 50,000 customers of Rocky Mountain Power, Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative and Idaho Falls Power.

Rocky Mountain Power's customers were the last to be restored.

If you are an RMP customer and your power is still out, call (877) 508-5088.

If you are a Fall River Electric customer and still don't have power, call (800) 632-5726.

Idaho Falls Power customers were mostly restored at 11:45 a.m.

The problem stems from the Rocky Mountain Power Goshen substation near Firth.

Because of the issue, Bonneville Power Administration and Rocky Mountain Power had asked Idaho Falls Power and Fall River Electric Cooperative to shed electric loads. More than 50,000 power customers in eastern Idaho went without electricity at the peak of the outage.

Rocky Mountain spokesman Dave Eskelsen said the issue wasn't the supply of power.

"The issue is a technical problem on the transmission system," he said.

A circuit breaker was out for maintenance this week, and "conditions" developed Wednesday morning that caused Rocky Mountain to have to interrupt service. Further details are not available, though at 4:20 p.m., Rocky Mountain Power said the circuit breaker was back in service.

The problem occurred just after 5 a.m.

"Transmission regulations required Rocky Mountain Power to interrupt service to Idaho customers until stability for the transmission system can be assured. This is a precautionary measure; there is not an overload condition," Eskelsen said in a news release.

Eskelsen said although crews are working to repair this problem as fast as possible, customers should take steps to be without service until later in the afternoon.

The Bureau of Reclamation said it increased power generation at Palisades Dam to help resolve the power problem.

Intermountain Gas Company said its natural gas service was not impacted, though certain appliances that use gas do not work without electricity.

The temperatures in eastern Idaho were below zero Tuesday morning, and not much warmer in the afternoon.

Schools that are canceled are:

- Teton School District (closing at noon)

- Idaho State University's Idaho Falls campus

- University of Idaho's Idaho Falls campus

- Four schools in Idaho Falls School District: Fox Hollow and West Side elementary schools, Eagle Rock Middle School, and Skyline High School. Other schools remain open.

- Brigham Young University-Idaho until 12:45 p.m.

- Shelley School District

- Firth School District

- Bonneville School District

- West Jefferson School District

- White Pine Charter in Ammon

- Acorn Children's Academy

- Taylor's Crossing Charter in Ammon

- Odessey Charter in Idaho Falls

- Idaho Falls Head Start

- Rexburg Head Start

- Monarch Daycare

- Lighthouse Montessori

- Jefferson School District

- Madison School District

- Ririe School District

The Idaho Falls School District is open, but it said parents always have the right to keep their children home if they feel conditions are unsafe.

Other closures in the area:

- Idaho Falls Senior Center -- those who get home-delivered meals need to use their emergency meals

- Shelley Senior Center

- Upper Valley Industries in Rexburg

We'll update this page as more information becomes available.

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