JEA lost power during Tropical Storm Beryl
Electricity, generators failed during emergency situation
Tropical Storm Beryl took its toll on Jacksonville last month with downed trees and power lines.
In fact, JEA said the storm will end up costing the power company $1.2 million. That's what it will take to replace power lines and utility poles that were damaged in the storm.
But JEA also had other problems.
Its command center on the Westside, off Ramona Boulevard, was hit hard. That location is where JEA officials can watch what is happening with power across the city and where it needs to be diverted when an outage occurs.
The problem was that the command center lost power during the storm. That's usually not an issue because it is equipped with backup generators. But those also failed.
"We serve ourselves -- the control center -- just like we serve everybody else," JEA CEO Jim Dickenson said. "We had two electric circuits that feed that control center. Both of those circuits went out by trees. We did get them back in. The emergency generator came on, but then it went out, and we have a battery backup."
That battery back up lasted about an hour, and the center was able to come back up online.
During a board meeting Tuesday, engineers explained what happened. They are trying to figure how generators failed during an emergency at a time when the city is relying on JEA to get power restored.
"We've got to look at that real closely and make sure that doesn't happen again," Dickenson said. "That's kind of a lesson learned. We have to experience things just like everybody else."
JEA said even though the command center lost power and were it to do so again, it does not mean the city would be in the dark. Crews would still be able to fix power lines and throw switches out in the field to divert power to other lines that would be working.
"If that goes down, then you just don't have at the control center to be able to look out and see what is happening in the system," Dickenson said. "I mean, the folks in the field will still go fix things."
Copyright 2012 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.