Last Friday at eight in the morning the Minnesota West Granite Falls campus unexpectedly lost power. Troy Fiegen was called in to help resolve the issue, only the solution wasn’t simple. On Wednesday morning Fiegen spoke to the Advocate Tribune from down in a (literal) hole on the Minnesota West campus. “I was called in on Friday morning and we immediately began looking for the cause of the issue.” Fiegen said.
Fiegen and his crew started looking all over the school building for an electrical fault, but couldn’t figure it out. To make matters worse it was discovered that Quest internet services had a hub in the school so when the building lost power it affected the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse’s internet and phone services. Thankfully the 911 operating service was still able to function even with the service issues.
Fiegen decided to call Don Reznechek to see if he could provide and information on the cause of the power outage. Reznechek informed Fiegen that a few years ago crews were digging in a waterline and had hit some electrical wires. Fiegen assumed the damage to the wires was the cause of the outage.
Fiegen then began the hunt for a mini excavator to reach the wires on Memorial Day weekend Friday. “It was tough to find a mini excavator on such short notice and right as memorial day weekend was beginning.” Fiegen said, explaining the situation, “Luckily Fagen Inc. came in and were able to help, they were the only people who could have helped dig it up.”
The crew came back to work on Saturday but ultimately had to stop working due to rain and finished the digging on Monday morning. “It was hard to find people who could help on Memorial Day weekend and we didn’t want to dig a hole that would fill up with water so we had to finish it on Monday morning.”
When the crew finished digging the hole and reached the source of the problem they couldn’t find the right size cable to make the repairs. “It was a larger cable that was hard to find but we eventually tracked it down in Bismarck, North Dakota. We sent a truck to go get the cable and then he drove from Bismarck to St. Cloud to get another part we needed.”
“Once we had the pieces we discovered that the splices we needed for the cable were almost impossible to find. We tracked some down in Chicago and Ohio and ordered them, hopefully everything will come together and get here by Thursday so we can finish the repairs.”
“It’s a difficult situation because it’s the last week of school and the high school and the welding students use the building for class. I know the daycare center here is also having issues so it’s a very messy situation.”
“I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone that helped out, the Granite Falls Electrical Department, DuWayne Galow from Fagen for helping with the mini excavator, and Leroy Sik and Rich Laumb from Minnesota West. Without them this project would have been very difficult.”
“The school has been without power going on six days now, we’re going to continue to work on the problem and hopefully have it resolved soon.”