A power outage that occurred last night that affected part of Jasper and caused a momentary outage (blink) for most members in that area was caused by vandals. The outage that started around 7:30 p.m. CDT lasted two hours and affected over 300 homes and businesses in the Anderson Ridge and Baptist Hill areas.
The vandals cut a strand vice – hardware attached to a guy wire that supports a utility pole – which caused the pole to lean and wires to touch. It took linemen two hours to restore power and around four hours to complete repairs.
This is not the first outage of late caused by vandalism. At least four other power outages in Marion County were caused by vandals, and all were caused in the same way, with the guy wire being cut from its anchor. Fiber lines are also attached to the vandalized poles, which makes this a Federal crime since communication lines were affected.
Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative is working with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to find the perpetrators and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. A reward of $1,000 is being offered for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.
If you have any information about vandalism to the SVEC system or see anyone other than utility personnel around power poles, please call SVEC at 423-837-8605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Marion County Sheriff’s Department at 423-942-2525.