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Electrical substation attacked in Hamilton County

Posted by on Friday, July 16th, 2010 @ 5:14 pm.

Berryville Vineyards

HAMILTON CO.—A substation for Southern Illinois Power Cooperative was disclosed yesterday (July 15) by authorities as having been deliberately damaged ten days earlier.

The SIPC substation is located in Hamilton County and  affects power in Hamilton, Williamson, Franklin and Saline counties.

Authorities are calling the damage an “attack” and stating that it could have been “disastrous”: the substation, located in a rural part of the county, had a fence breached on that day, and attackers opened a valve on a large power transformer, causing oil to drain out. Fortunately for power users who would have been affected by problems at this substation, there were alarms (telemetry monitored) that went off and workers at the SIPC dispatch center were able to open circuit breakers remotely, preventing the transformer from overheating due to the lack of oil.

Had the transformer overheated, the possibility of explosion would have been almost definite.

When a crew arrived at the substation, oil was still draining; hundreds of gallons had already flowed into a spill dam. Crews then removed the transformer from service to ascertain any further damage. The transformer being out of operation, along with the miserably warm and humid weather, created a stress on the power grid in the four aforementioned counties. If the transformer had failed, officials reported, it could have cost $1.5 to $2 million in damage.

However, the transformer was returned to service four days later, July 9.

This wasn’t all that happened, however.

A separate “attack” was also noted this past Sunday, July 12, when power poles were destroyed. This attack occurred in Franklin County along Bessie Road and Log Cabin Road (east of Benton), where vandals used a chainsaw to cut the poles. Those fell close to the roadways, taking down high voltage lines with them. This caused power outages for customers on the Southern Illinois Power and SouthEastern Illinois Electric cooperatives. Each company has authorized $10,000 in rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Sunday’s attack.

Sheriff’s departments in both HamCo and Franklin Co. are asking the public for help in solving the cases; the numbers are 618-643-2511 in Hamilton; 618-435-8187 in Franklin. These attacks are very serious crimes and the feds are considering entering the investigations; such crimes are punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison depending on the level of damage occurring to the substation and power providing facilities.

Berryville Vineyards

Short URL: http://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=3891

Posted by on Jul 16 2010. Filed under Franklin, Hamilton. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

10 Comments for “Electrical substation attacked in Hamilton County”

  1. truthteller

    disgruntled employee maybe?

  2. truthteller

    what have you heard?

    • mmm…I’m not sure I’m at liberty to discuss it. But there are some people concerned about they way things are being run there. It’s kind of akin to what went on with Wayne White Counties Electric Coop a few years ago. Abuses of power, etc.

  3. truthteller

    not good to hear. a friend was considering working there. it’s a union shop, isn’t it?

  4. formerfox42

    I wonder if it was the same vandal/s wrecking the oil wells in that area & just southwest of Benton? Eco-terrorism case that’s gone quiet.

  5. Dennis J. Bridwell

    They need to get Lawrence County’s Director of Emergency Management/Homeland Security to come investigate this, he and his assistant have had several classes about how to combat terrorism. They haven’t had one successful terrorist attack in Lawrence County since he has taken over!

  6. love the union

    hear they are working without a union contract, and also heard the “union workers” were not answer out of power calls one night

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