By Harold Reutter
Independent Staff Writer
City efforts to restore power failed Thursday last night and Mayor Robert Kriz spent a sleepless night trying to explain to angry citizens why they were still without electricity.
Utility crews experienced an equipment failure which lasted several hours Thursday and set back plans to restore electricity.
Utility crews were to make another attempt Friday to restore power but city officials made no promises on a timetable after Thursday's disappointment.
But they did say that if a feeder line from the power plant to the city could be rebuilt, electricity should return to 70-90 percent of the city.
People shouldn't operate air conditioners or other unnecessary appliances when power is restore, the utilities department warned. Too fast a buildup of the electrical demand could cause a system failure.
The only places where electricity is available is on a "trickle line" that is being used to get electricity to the various city well fields.
Kriz spent much of Thursday night on the telephone explaining all this to residents who were calling about electrical service. One neighborhood even offered money if power could be restored, he said.
Until full power is restored, water and sewage remains limited in many parts of the city.
However, near-normal sewage usage did return to several areas Thursday afternoon. These include:
- Between Broadwell and Plum from the Union Pacific railroad tracks to 17th Street.
- Between the Union Pacific tracks and Anna St. from Ingalls east.
- Area generally west of Custer and south of 13th St.
- Between Fonner Park Road and Stagecoach Road east of Harrison.
Most of the sewers in these areas are operated by gravity as only one lift station has electricity restored.
Residents in these areas can use toilets normally but are being asked to refrain from using washers and dishwashers or using water excessively in any manner which may overload the sewage plant.
The plant, like much of the town, remains without city power and is being operated through the use of a generator.
The YMCA is offering its shower facilities and toilets to the public until 9 p.m. Friday. The same service will be offered 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and could be offered again Sunday if demand is great enough.
The YMCA is closed for all other purposes until Monday when it will resume normal operation.
The status on water consumption remained unchanged Friday morning because the results of the tests by county health officials won't be analyzed completely until 2:30 p.m. Friday.
County Health director Ed Edwards announced free tetanus shots are available from the health department offices at First and Pine.
The immunization is recommended for anyone who hasn't had a tetanus shot for five years and is working on a clean-up crew or is working to clear his property in a particularly hard-hit area of town.
It would be especially easy for someone to step on a nail or other metal object in these areas, Edwards said.
Shots are being administered from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-noon Saturday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday of next week. Administration of the shots may be extended if there the demand warrants it.
There are 1,500 doses available.