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Construction causes brief power outage Monday

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By PETER SAWYER

Due to some work at the site of the new justice center, the power at the Campbell County courthouse had to be temporarily shut down Monday afternoon.
 “They’ve got to cut the power off,” Deputy Mayor David Young said Monday afternoon. “They told us 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., but it may not take that long.”
While county employees were initially told the power would be out for two hours, it was only out for a matter of a few minutes.
“They only had to turn it off for 12 minutes,” Young said on Wednesday. “It turned out to be very minimal compared to what we thought.”
The reason the power was turned off was because Merritt Construction had to repair damages near the courthouse’s main power line after a mudslide occurred. Behind the courthouse, Merritt Construction was digging for the new justice center when there was a mudslide.
“We had a little mud slide at the base of the building,” said Campbell County Special Projects Manager Stan Marlow.
Dirt slid from behind the courthouse and exposed a gas line, Marlow said. The gas line ruptured.
“Apparently, they had to remove a gas line,” Young said.
It was repaired, but the hole had to be filled with rock. Because the location of the mudslide was close to the main power line for the courthouse, the power had to be shut down before it could be filled in.
“We’re just taking precautions to make sure nothing happened to it,” Marlow said.
There was actually some confusion among county employees about how many offices the outage would affect. Some, including Young, thought both the courthouse and the annex would be without power.
“We’re not closing anything,” Young said. “We’re just going to be without power.”
Others thought the courthouse and the second floor of the annex would be without power.
“The annex will have it,” county court clerk Debbie Wilson said. “We’ll be working. The offices upstairs won’t be.”
However, it was only the courthouse building that was without power Monday afternoon. The old courthouse building was the only building that would be affected, Marlow said.
Employees in different county offices had different reactions to the possibility of being without power.