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Who turned out the lights?

PRINCETON — The city of Princeton was without electricity for more than an hour early Sunday evening when the Ameren Illinois transmission line bringing electricity into the city went down.

On Monday, Princeton’s Superintendent of Electric Jason Bird said it was about 6 p.m. Sunday when the Ameren line from Hennepin to Princeton, located on the Wyanet/Walnut Blacktop, went down. Typically, if that situation happens, the power source would have been switched automatically to the Kewanee line, but the Kewanee line was down on Sunday for maintenance, Bird said.

As of Monday morning, Bird did not have any details from Ameren Illinois on why the Hennepin to Princeton line went down. The entire town was without power for about 60 to 75 minutes, he said.

When dealing with a power outage, the city’s policy is to start the ball rolling as soon as it is determined Ameren Illinois has lost its transmission feed into the city. Since the city’s electric plant is no longer a 24 hour a day operation, crews had to be called into the plant and to the substation to respond to Sunday’s outage. Crews first start up one generator at the plant in order to get the plant in full service, and then other generators are started one at a time to generate the needed electricity, Bird said.

At 8:30 a.m. Monday, three of the plant’s eight generators were in operation, but that number could fluxate as needed, Bird said.

Later Monday morning, Bird contacted the Bureau County Republican to let the BCR know the city was back to its normal Ameren Illinois power source at approximately 11 a.m. Monday and had shut down its city generators.

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