LIGHTNING STRIKES: Board of Works reflects on outtages

COLUMBIA CITY — Having not met since Jan. 3, the Columbia City Board of Works and Safety conducted business Tuesday, hearing from department heads and addressing public issues.All departments signed off on, and the board approved, the permit for the Annual Autumn Art Festival. The event will be held Sept. 8, and will be a one-day event. This will be the festival’s 11th year.Chauncey Street between Market and Van Buren streets will be closed.According to Superintendent of the Electric Department Larry Whetstone, lightning struck in two different areas last week causing power outages, including at City Hall. The strikes ended up requiring attention from three different departments.The first issue was fixed relatively quickly. The second, behind Carter’s Meats, was a bit more of a problem, Whetstone said. Because of the pole being located on a hill, access to the issue was more restricted than usual.To compound the problem, rain was creating a muddy landscape along the hill and ground.Kelly Cearbaugh of the Street Department was called in to bring the department’s payloader to assist in fixing the electrical problem.Even Mayor Ryan Daniel was on hand for what became a frustrating situation for the departments.“The power outage really showed how our teams come together to solve the problems we’re dealing with in real time,” Daniel said. “Having an all-hands-on-deck mentality showed that through determination we can get the work done.”Once the pole was reached, things turned a bit tongue-and-cheek, as the actual issue took only minutes to resolve.“It was a three hour dilemma for a 20 minute solution,” Whetstone said.___For a more in depth look at this story, see the Jan. 27 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.