Utility: Bad device caused Super Bowl blackout
A power company says the cause of the Super Bowl blackout was a faulty device that had been installed to prevent a failure of electric cables leading to the Superdome.
Officials of Entergy New Orleans say the device, called a relay, had been installed to protect the stadium from a cable failure between the company's incoming power line and lines that run into the stadium.
Company officials said the device performed without problem during January's Sugar Bowl and other earlier events.
They said the device has been removed and replacement equipment will be installed.
The power failure cut lights to about half of the stadium for 34 minutes, halting play between the Baltimore ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
The outage that embarrassed New Orleans as it sought to showcase its rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina happened despite hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements to decaying utility lines, documents show.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu sought to put an upbeat spin on the matter at a news conference Tuesday, saying the city's performance as host was near flawless despite the lights-out episode.
"The 34 minutes of darkness will never overshadow or outshine the city of New Orleans and how we performed this Super Bowl week," Landrieu said.
He also said the outage won't pull the plug on city plans to bid for an 11th Super Bowl in 2018. It last hosted a Super Bowl in 2002, three years before Katrina swamped the city.
Concerned the Superdome might not be able to handle the energy needed for its first Super Bowl since Katrina, officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades to decayed utility lines, according to the documents obtained by The Associated Press.
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