Transfomer malfunction causes power outages in Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Smoke hangs in the air after a transformer malfunction on Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead.

A transformer malfunction in Riverhead caused more than 150 reported power outages in the area Saturday, according to the Long Island Power Authority.

Glenn Ferraiuolo, an employee at the nearby TriWire Engineering Soultions on Roanoke Avenue, said the malfunction sounded like a “shotgun blast” and that it occurred about 10:30 a.m.

“About 9 a.m., I was in my office and we heard a loud bang out in the parking lot. It sounded like an automobile hit a pole,” he said.

“About an hour and half later I was standing out there with a coworker … and the noise happened again and the transformer caught on fire.”

There were 158 power caused by the malfunction, said LIPA spokesperson Vaness Baird-Street. She said power was restored to 153 location as of about 1 p.m. She said there were overgrown vines surrounding the transformer which caused part of a primary wire to fall. All power was expected to be restored by 3 p.m., according to the LIPA power outage map,

Witnesses said sparks were emitted from the live wires..

Volunteers with the Riverhead Fire Department as well as LIPA officials responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.

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