Morgan City residents have power 24 hours after plant explosion | News
MORGAN CITY, LA (WAFB)- Almost 24 hours without air conditioning, residents in Morgan City now have power. A transformer blew up at the Joseph J. Cefalu Sr Municipal Steam Plant around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The transformer that blew up was replaced, and almost exactly 24 hours later, residents of Morgan City can start to off. The residents have been uncomfortable with temperatures in the mid 90's with no air conditioning.
Some residents passed the time by sitting in the shade on the front porches of their homes with hand held fans.
An out of town visitor took to the pool to find comfort from an otherwise unbearable day. Anywhere you look in Morgan City, you'll found people doing what they can try and keep cool. Victor Ho owns a corner store market in the city. He used a generator to try to keep his water cool and to stay open.
Morgan City Mayor Tim Matte says they were about to start their regular council meeting Tuesday when someone came in saying there was a fire. They ran out and saw the plant transformer in flames.
The explosion left more than 12,000 residents in the dark and in the heat. Matte says the city has never had this kind of mechanical problem. As for what caused the transformer to blow, he says he is not sure.
Officials said crews inspecting the damages from the explosion found them to be more extensive than their preliminary evaluation.
St. Mary Parish is opening shelters to give people in Morgan City relief from the heat. The Morgan City Municipal Auditorium will be open for use to escape the heat for a short time. There will be NO food or water provided. Those who need a ride to the shelter can call 337-828-5703.
Officials ask people to please not contact the city to report that outage again.
Crews have managed to power up generators to operate the sewer and water functions. The city asks for people to continue to minimize their water use for things like toilets, tubs, sinks, etc. Officials said their drinking water is not impacted.
Mayor Tim Matte declared a state of emergency and asked for a dusk to dawn curfew.
If your home has lost power, there are things you can do to help ensure your safety until the power is back on. For prolonged power outages, there are steps residents can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of the household as comfortable as possible in the extreme heat.
The Red Cross has steps people should follow to help ensure their safety in the heat as the power outage continues:
- People should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if they aren't thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- During the heat, it's best to eat small meals and eat more often.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- If someone must work outdoors, they should take frequent breaks.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
What should I do during a power outage?
- Keep food as safe as possible.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours.
- Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
- Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.
- Do not use candles for lighting. Use flashlights only.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out.
- When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
- Leave one light turned on so you'll know when the power comes back on.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights are out and roads will be congested.
Using generators safely.
- When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home's electrical system.
- If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.
What should I do when the power comes back on?
- Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.
Throw out unsafe food.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
- If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer.
- Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.
Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
- The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
- Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you
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