Black bird blamed for Newton blackout

by cigi sparks

The city of Newton experienced an hour-long, city-wide power outage yesterday – the cause of which was not so typical.
The outage is due to a crow that flew into a power pole that had two different circuits running to it, according to Newton Public Works and Utilities Director Dusty Wentz. The crow touched both of the circuits, which caused an issue and knocked out the power to an entire substation, thus affecting the entire city.
The outage began around 10:45 a.m. and lasted for about an hour, according to Wentz. 
Before power could be restored, workers had to ensure that the bird was for sure the cause of the problem and wait on Duke Energy to make sure there wasn’t any problems on their end.
Once the cause of the problem was officially determined and the needed repair was made, workers were able slowly bring the circuits back on, then start up the sub-station again and restore power to the city. 
“Those guys did an excellent job getting the power back on - usually it takes a few hours and getting it back on in an hour is a big accomplishment,” Wentz said.
The Newton Public Works and Utilities Department would like to thank all citizens for their patience while they worked to get the power back on.
An incident similar to this occurred last year at a power pole on East 5th Street, where a bird was also the cause of the incident.
For more information on Newton Public Works and Utilities, visit