By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Arc flash lights up Richmond Hill sky, leaves thousands without power Thursday
coastal cooperative.

Video courtesy Mark Bolton, Coastal Electric Cooperative. 

An insulator failed around 9:15 p.m. Thursday night at Coastal Electric Cooperative's Sterling Creek substation leaving approximately 3,000 of the company's members without power. 

When the insulator failed, it was destroyed by a high-voltage arc flash, according to Mark Bolton, Coastal Electric Vice President for Communication.

Witnesses more than a mile away said they saw the night sky light up with an intense blue flash. The Sterling Creek substation is located at the corner of Harris Trail and Timber Trail Road in the City of Richmond Hill.

Coastal Electric linemen responded shortly after the outage and restored power within 57 minutes around I-95 and Richmond Hill High School, and other circuits were restored 30 to 45 minutes later. 

According to various internet sites on electricity, an arc flash happens when electricity flows through an air gap between conductors, which can happen because of breaks or gaps in insulators. 

Bolton said linemen performed permanent repairs at the substation Wednesday.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters