Friday, February 15, 2013
Electric company believes Super Bowl outage was caused by a device specifically installed to prevent an outage
The company that supplies electricity to the Superdome and the stadium's management company have hired an outside expert to investigate the cause of the power failure during the Super Bowl earlier this month.
Entergy spokesman Michael Burns said Friday that the utility and SMG have hired Utah-based forensic engineer John Palmer to perform an independent analysis of the outage.
Entergy has said it believes the outage was caused by an electrical relay device it installed specially to prevent a power failure at the dome. But a company official said it was looking into whether the device had a design flaw or a manufacturing defect.
The blackout, which affected roughly half of the stadium's lights, delayed the February 3 game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers for 34 minutes.
Palmer is president of Palmer Engineering & Forensics in Kaysville, Utah. The company's website says he "brings real life experience and solid academic credentials to his work" analyzing electrical accidents, electrical equipment failures, electrical fires and explosions.
During a hearing last Friday, Entergy and SMG officials were noncommittal when New Orleans City Council members asked if they would hire an outside expert to investigate. Council member Jackie Clarkson made it clear that she wanted them to go ahead with the independent probe.
"We've told the public we're going to have an outside investigation," she said during a meeting of the council's Utility Committee.