Blame the cold and the snow for the Thursday morning power outage in downtown Columbus and surrounding neighborhoods.
About 550 homes and businesses lost their electricity during outage, which happened at 10:12 a.m. and lasted about 30 minutes, said Chip Orben, spokesman for Duke Energy.
The problem appears to have started with a high-hanging limb near Ninth and Reed streets that became so heavy with snow that it snapped off near the top of a tree and fell onto a power line, Orben said.
When coupled with the frigid temperatures, the mishap resulted in multiple blown transformers that expanded the outage to include areas bordered by Water, Seventh, Jackson and Chestnut streets, Orben said.
Once the problem was pinpointed, every effort was made by Duke Energy crews to restore power as quickly as possible, Orben said. The outage left students at Central Middle School, the Columbus Signature Academy — Lincoln campus and St. Peter’s Lutheran School temporarily without electricity.
While traffic signals were knocked out along Washington Street, from Fourth to Second streets, drivers were able to get through the downtown area without incident, Columbus Police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.