Altamont in the Dark Thursday Night

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Published on August 9 2013 1:25 am
Written by Wayne Moran

Effingham County Fair officials thought their chief concern Thursday evening would be the rain that came late that afternoon.  Then, the lights went out.

The City of Altamont was without electrical service from around 6pm to close to 10pm Thursday.  No one knew the cause of the outage at last report, but it was made worse when the diesel generators designed to provide backup power in Altamont failed to kick on. 

The electricity finally returned close to 10pm.  The last area to have service restored was the area south of US 40 and north of the interstate.  Residents of the south end of Altamont that receive power from Southwestern Electric Cooperative were the first to have service restored close to 9pm.

Fair Board members and volunteers worked to make sure the Rough Stock Rodeo took place as scheduled last night.  Fair Board President Phil Hartke said Altamont and Watson Fire Department Districts provided their emergency scene lighting and generators were used to crank up the lights on the grandstand and the show went on. 

Altamont city officials clarified that no City generators were in use at the fairgrounds last night.

Hartke said crews who already had worked to get set up for the rodeo after the rains came were again put to the test by the power outage, but said, "We had to get the rodeo performance presented; we had a grandstand full of people."