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Blow transformer blacks out most of Ripon

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POSTED May 18, 2009 12:33 a.m.
RIPON - A city-wide electrical outage took most of the power out in the Ripon community shortly before 7:30 p.m. Sunday night as temperatures were still in the 90s after a scorching day of triple-digit above normal temperatures.

A PG&E transformer reportedly blew out on the northbound frontage road just west of the Main Street off ramp causing the outage and a fire in the oleanders along the Highway 99 freeway fence.

Heavy smoke from the fire first blew across the traffic lanes and officers originally thought they would have to shut down freeway traffic for the safety of motorists.  The smoke changed direction and began to blow northward along the direction of the fence as Ripon firefighters brought it quickly under control.

While a scattering of homes had lights, the majority were without electricity.  The Flying-J and Arby truck stops were dark as was the Save Mart Shopping and the Mar Val shopping centers.  Ironically the lights were on at the Sonic, Taco Bell and McDonald’s drive-ins and at the Schemper’s Ace Hardware center.

The homes and the club house at the Spring Creek Country Club were also without lights as was Colony Oak Elementary School outside the northeast boundary of the city.  Bethany Home lacked power as well except for their emergency generators.

Ripon Police officers were kept busy collecting temporary stop signs they placed at a number of intersections that were without red and green lights.  As far north as Santos and Jack Tone roads the signals were out as they were on Main Street intersections.

Several commercial burglary alarms were also set off by the outage.

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