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Ameren replaces 100,000 pound transformer

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PACIFIC, MO (KTVI)-- It was lousy weather for a massive electrical repair in Pacific, Wednesday night.

Using a crane, Ameren Missouri workers lifted a 100,000 pound transformer about 60 feet into the air-- over trees and high wires -- out of the substation at Columbus and Walnut.

Then, they lowered a replacement into place via the same route.

More than 3300 customers were without power when the old transformer blew around 6:30 A.M.

Ameren workers rerouted the feed through a second transformer at the substation, so customers had power restored by noon.

Still, with wind chills creeping toward single digits, Ameren workers considered it an emergency repair.

A truck hauled in the ½ million dollar replacement from St. Louis County.

It appears the old one just wore out after about 30 years – a pretty good life span according to Ameren.

Kathy Duncan, who lives across the street, figured it was a big deal when she looked out her front door after the power went out.

“It was trying to come back on, and when I was coming to the door I saw the flash and then the big boom and then it was out, again,” Duncan said.

“We are in a race now to get the second transformer replaced so that we can go back to a normal electrical configuration,” said Ameren Regional Director, Mark Nealon.  “The substation is a little tight in terms of space.  So, we have a very large crane that will be lifting the old transformer out of the station, over the pine trees and lines to the west of the substation yard…if it wasn’t for the second transformer, we would not have been able to restore all customers we did later in the morning.  We want to get back to that point where we have that second level of defense.”

The heavy lifting was finished by 10:00 P.M.

Nealon said it would be another 24 hours or so before the job was complete – but power service to customers should not be interrupted.

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