I&M schedules power outage for downtown Fort Wayne

Outage set for Sunday, March 18

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — As part of its ongoing commitment to ensure the reliability of energy delivery to customers, Indiana Michigan Power will connect the recently completed Melita substation to serve downtown Fort Wayne on March 18.

To make the connection, I&M will transfer service from an existing 1920s-era substation to the adjacent, state-of-the-art Melita substation. Transferring the energy safely and efficiently will
require a power outage of up to three hours affecting much of the downtown area. That outage will take place on Sunday, March 18, beginning at 6 p.m.

The transfer is a key step in I&M’s project to enhance the reliability and safety of service to downtown Fort Wayne. For the past two years, I&M has been rebuilding the downtown Fort Wayne underground infrastructure, replacing aging cables; re-routing the line configuration to ensure safety and reliability; adding underground vaults; and adding state-of-the-art monitoring
devices to detect any potential problems before they occur.

With the transfer, energy for the area will be provided via a modern, high-tech substation that can accommodate current demands plus future growth. The substation was built as part of a
related project that included a new transmission line west of the substation as well as rebuilding another line going to the south.

I&M understands there is no “good” time for an outage. The date and time were chosen after speaking with city public safety officials and reviewing the schedules for downtown events and churches. Safety for the public and our crews is the No. 1 concern for I&M, and daylight hours offer the highest level of safety for this type of an outage.

I&M customer service representatives have been communicating with our downtown customers individually to discuss the outage and steps customers can take to prepare for it. I&M prepared information cards that building owners can provide to their tenants to inform them of the outage.

I&M worked closely with city safety and traffic officials to plan traffic control during the time period. City police will direct traffic at the busier affected intersections, and stop signs will be placed at the others.

I&M evaluated a number of options to best carry out the transfer, and these plans were developed with the goal of ensuring a safe and successful transfer while keeping the time frame
as short as safely possible.

SOURCE: Indiana Michigan Power