DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES

KUCB Staff

 

A number of recent unplanned power outages in Unalaska were caused by an electronic governor — located on one of the city's diesel engines — that needs retuning, according to city officials.

Public Utilities Director Dan Winters said at a City Council meeting Tuesday night that what's supposed to happen is that when the engine is shutting down it comes down automatically, at about 1000 kilowatts and then it will open the breaker. But it's currently shutting down at more than twice that amount — at about 2500 kilowatts — and kicking the breaker.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

More than half of the City of Unalaska's tsunami sirens aren't functioning, according to city officials.

The city tested its tsunami sirens, which were purchased in 1996, on Wednesday. Three out of seven worked. 

Following a number of earthquakes near Makushin Volcano earlier in the week — which prompted the Alaska Volcano Observatory to increase the volcano's alert level to "advisory" — local concern about Unalaska's emergency preparedness has been elevated.

KUCB Staff

The City of Unalaska has begun installing new utility readers at local homes.

The roughly $400,000 system upgrade will allow the Department of Public Utilities to monitor electricity consumption without visiting customers' houses.

The automatic meters will also improve the billing process, according to Public Utilities Director Dan Winters.

KUCB Staff

After dealing with a handful of electrical outages earlier this month, Unalaska's powerhouse is fully operational again.

That's according to the city's Public Utilities Director, Dan Winters. He fielded questions from Mayor Frank Kelty during Tuesday's brief City Council meeting.

"We're all good to go at the powerhouse? No more upcoming power outages?" Kelty asked of Winters. "He's giving me the thumbs-up."

KUCB Staff

Unalaska's power is back on after two island-wide outages in the last two days.

The city's Department of Public Utilities has rerouted electricity around a damaged control switch at the powerhouse. That switch spurred the first, unscheduled outage Tuesday around 7 p.m.

"Everything tripped offline, meaning the generators and all the field breakers in the powerhouse opened up," said Utilities Director Dan Winters. "We found out one of our viper control switches was bad, and it blew a potential transformer."

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