Power Company Has Unique Perspective on Super Bowl Outage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Power Company Has Unique Perspective on Super Bowl Outage

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(Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)

GREENWOOD, Del. (WBOC/AP)- The day after the blackout at the Super Bowl, the exact cause - and who's to blame - were unclear, though a couple of potential culprits had been ruled out.

It wasn't Beyonce's electrifying halftime performance, according to Doug Thornton, manager of the state-owned Superdome, since the singer had her own generator. And it apparently wasn't a case of too much demand for power. Meters showed the 76,000-seat stadium was drawing no more electricity than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game, Thornton said.

The blackout at the game forced fans to sit and wait 34 minutes for play to resume. Delaware Electric Cooperative employees had a unique perspective on that wait.

Purple hair was the pay-off on a bet between co-op employees Baltimore Ravens fan, Tom Wright, and San Francisco 49ers fan, Troy Dickerson.

"It was fun," said Wright. "He was a great sport about it."

"All I could hear was the spray paint," Dickerson said.

The men were focused on the game and their bet Sunday night when the darkness fell.

"First thing I thought was maybe Jim Harbaugh went and pulled a plug somewhere," said Dickerson. "Because he's an intense coach."

Co-op President Bill Andrew says he started getting texts and phone calls almost immediately.

"How long do I think it will be out? What was the problem? Do they have the right people there to fix it?"

"I figured they had enough experienced people," Wright said. "Surely, it wouldn't take them too long."

"Too long" is, of course, a relative term. For many fans, for the teams, 34 minutes was an eternity. But the guys at the Co-op say that was actually pretty quick.

"They did best they could. I'm sure they were scrambling. I give them a lot of credit," said Wright. "When something like that happens, there's a tremendous amount of pressure - no matter if it's five customers or billions of people watching the Super Bowl."

"I thought it was a very efficient fix," Andrew said. "I think they had the right people there."

And even if he didn't like the outcome of the game and the new color of his hair, the power outage gave Dickerson at least one thing to feel OK about.

"I was just glad it wasn't us."
The problem that caused the outage was believed to have happened around the spot where a line that feeds current from the local power company, Entergy New Orleans, connects with the Superdome's electrical system, officials said. But whether the fault lay with the utility or with the Superdome was not clear.
Determining the cause will probably take days, according to Dennis Dawsey, a vice president for distribution and transmission for Entergy. He said the makers of some of the switching gear have been brought in to help figure out what happened.
An attorney for the state board that oversees the Superdome said the blackout did not appear to be related to the replacement in December of electrical equipment connecting the stadium to Entergy. Officials with the utility and the Superdome noted that an NFL game, the Sugar Bowl and another bowl game were played there in recent weeks with no apparent problems.

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