Lake Worth power outage: Residents suffer through a night of misery


It was a little hotter in Lake Worth last night.

At 11:20 p.m., an overhead wire used to divert lightning, broke loose and made contact with an energized, high voltage equipment at the main point of power delivery for Lake Worth Electric Utilities, causing a fire and a power outage.

More than 26,000 people in the city woke up this morning in the dark.

READ: Lake Worth commissioner adamant: No weapons of war for civilians

To provide intermediary power, the Lake Worth Municipal Power Plant was brought on line at 11:40 p.m. By 4:30 a.m. the city said it achieved maximum power generation by providing power for 19,600 people. Repairs at the power plant near Interstate 95 and Hypoluxo Road were made.

The city said power was fully restored at 6:47 a.m., halfway through the morning rush hour, which caused some traffic problems at intersections where stoplights failed, especially those near Palm Beach State College.

“Great cooperation and assistance were provided by (Florida Power and Light) and various city employees who worked safely through the night to restore the system,” Ed Liberty, Lake Worth Utilities Director, said in a statement.

The initial cause of the overhead wire breakage has yet to be determined but the incident will be investigated to understand the cause of the failure, the city said.

SEE ALSO: PREVIEW: Special election to replace Clemens’ seat is today

Tammy Pansa, who lives in downtown Lake Worth, said she lost power before midnight last night. “Well, when the power goes out in Lake Worth, the neighbors congregate online, we commiserate and Lake Worth does report pretty well,” she said. “They kept us updated on the Twitter feed and online.”

Still, Pansa said the overnight heat — humid in the high 70s — was miserable.

“I didn’t break out the generator, I just broke out the battery back up and plugged in my fan,” she said.

Greg Rice, who also lives downtown, said he had no idea what time his power went out. “I couldn’t tell what time it went off because the clock went off,” he said. “I really don’t know. I knew the power went off because my ceiling fans quit spinning and I knew I paid my bill.”

Rice said the outage reminded him of Hurricane Irma, which hit Palm Beach County in September.

“It was hot,” he said.

Mayor Pam Triolo said she was getting ready for bed when the power went out. “It was out until about 6 this morning,” she said. ‘“I slept most of the time. It was warm, but I had a fan on.”

Maryann Furth said she lost power for about three hours, but that didn’t bother her. “I’m comfortable without air conditioning,” she said. “We were fine.”

Michael Chase Flack-Fox said he wasn’t even aware the power was off.

“I was at the University of Miami all day yesterday so I was worn out,” he said. “There were little or no problems. I slept right through it.”

Triolo said The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office was helpful.

“They were manning all the railroad tracks in case any signals were down and they also had extra patrols on the streets, making sure everyone was safe and sound,” she said. “There were no injuries or crime issues at all. A lot of people felt their presence so it was very comforting.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

PBSC to open expanded food pantry on Lake Worth’s campus on Tuesday
PBSC to open expanded food pantry on Lake Worth’s campus on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Palm Beach State College is opening an expanded food pantry to help students who are struggling financially. “Our students are disproportionately effected by the economy,” said Jeannie Hoban, director of the college’s student counseling center. “We hope by doing this … we can support our students and help...
Rally for Puerto Rico draws hundreds to Mar-a-Lago, West Palm
Rally for Puerto Rico draws hundreds to Mar-a-Lago, West Palm

As Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico a year ago, Sylvia Chaluissant watched water pour into her home through the electrical outlets in the walls. Soon after, her home was flooded and her furniture was ruined. “And I was one of the lucky ones,” the Puerto Rican native said Saturday. Chaluissant was one of about 800 protesters gathered...
Gardens lowers tax rate; bills could still go up with property values
Gardens lowers tax rate; bills could still go up with property values

Palm Beach Gardens officials approved a budget Thursday that includes money to create new jobs, continue publishing the city magazine, maintain parks and recreation facilities and offer economic development incentives. RELATED: Gardens council OKs 12 percent raises for police Helping pay for those expenses, the city’s overall value increased...
PHOTOS: Baby Trump balloon makes appearance at protest in West Palm Beach
PHOTOS: Baby Trump balloon makes appearance at protest in West Palm Beach

fThe Baby Trump balloon made the first of what likely will be many appearances in Palm Beach County at a protest and rally Saturday at the Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s direct hit to Puerto Rico. Below are embedded Tweets. If you don't see that content please, follow Ian...
LIVE: Around 800 including Gillum, Nelson at anti-Trump, pro-Puerto Rico rally in West Palm Beach
LIVE: Around 800 including Gillum, Nelson at anti-Trump, pro-Puerto Rico rally in West Palm Beach

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum addressed with crowd, saying: "We shouldn’t have to remind this country to do right by the people in this country."  UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.: Police are estimating the crowd at around 750 to 800 people. UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Trump supporters arrived at the Meyer...
More Stories