News: Colby - H. S. Lightning Bolt Hit (25 Apr 1949)
Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Brenholdt, Primeau
----Source: The Tribune-Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 4/17/2019
Originally published in the Colby Phonograph, Wednesday, April 25, 1949
A lightning bolt slammed into the main electrical entrance on the west side of Colby High School on Monday night, knocking out power for about 15 hours and forcing the cancellation of school for a day.
The lightning hit between 11 p.m. and midnight, April 23, reported Tom Brenholdt, manager of the Abbotsford station for Northern States Power.
Brenholdt said NSP’s transformers and other nearby equipment was not affected.
A janitor in the high school reported electrical problems to NSP, and the power company personnel confirmed the lightning hit after investigation.
The bolt sizzled a 10 foot long section of a bus duct that carried a 480 volt load of current from the nearby power pole into the school.
The buss bar, Brenholdt explained, fulfills the same function as an electrical box on a residence, except it is rated for a much stronger amperage.
The buss bar that was destroyed was rated at 1,200 amps, according to Erv Primeau, who performed repair work for the school district Tuesday, with the help of CHS maintenance personnel and NSP employees.
The bus duct carried current through a series of long copper plates, each about an inch and a half wide and a quarter inch thick.
The jolt of lightning burned inside plates on the duct, melted a hole in the metal housing and singed an area of brick on the wall behind the duct.
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