Summer brownouts wreak havoc on Antelope Valley homes |

Summer brownouts wreak havoc on Antelope Valley homes

by Lynne Katusich

Last Wednesday, most of the Antelope Valley experienced a very unpleasant power experience. We had the first “brownout” that people can remember for quite a long time. When this happened shortly after 6 p.m., the power began dropping to such low levels that backup generators would come on to provide our power. Right after that, the power would surge to a high level, shutting the generators off. After that happened several times, Mike noticed smoke coming from our electric panel at the switch that transfers the message to the generator that power is needed. We were very fortunate to have local contractor, Steve Rhodes, available to come to check out the situation, and when he checked the panel, he saw that it had “fried” the transfer. Around 8 p.m., the power company had restored the power, but we could not receive it because our generator had become locked in the “on” position. The next day, after having the generator bypassed, I learned that the same thing had happened to most residents with backup generators. When the electrician was here to check that, he discovered that our well pump starting switch had also been burnt out, causing us to not be able to draw water from the well. When the starter coil was replaced, we learned that those whose pumps had, like ours, been pumping water at the time of the occurrence also had the pump outage. On Friday I spoke with Liberty Energy, who said that the outage occurred on the Nevada side of the state line, so they will be dealing with Nevada Energy to resolve claims for loss and expense that occurred in our area. If you suffered loss, I was told that you should write a letter to Liberty Energy describing the loss and submit with copies of repair invoices. These claims should be sent to: Randy Kelly, Liberty Energy, 933 Eloise Avenue, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Our loss will end up being pretty expensive, so we will be following their claim procedure,too

Memorial services

A memorial will be held 2 p.m., Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Coleville for Nancy Tompkinson, with a get-together afterward. Bringing a side dish would be appreciated, but not necessary.

The memorial for Dianne Evans, long-time valley resident, will be held 11 a.m., Aug. 4 at the Community Center in Walker.

This and that

The Walker Thrift Store and Recycling Center’s Board of Directors would like to thank Rick Ross and the Topaz Lodge for their contribution to help area seniors during the excessive heat. They donated funds to assist in the purchase of portable fans for loan to seniors suffering with insufficient cooling in their homes. If a senior you know needs this, please contact the Thrift Store at 495-1200. The fans will be loaned for their use and returned when summer heat season is over.

I want to congratulate my husband, Mike, for his receipt of the Antelope Valley Lions Club’s “Lion of the Year” award. He loves working with the club on their local service and fund-raising for their scholarships, as do many members of the local club. Needless to say, I’m really proud of him.

Lynne Katusich can be reached at or (530) 495-2552.