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Continued: Power company says Super Bowl blackout was caused by device designed to prevent power outages

  • Article by: KEVIN MCGILL , Associated Press
  • Last update: February 8, 2013 - 5:45 PM

Asked if Entergy and SMG still plan to hire a third-party investigator to get to the bottom of the cause, Rice said that possibility remains open.

"We'll work closely with SMG, and if there is a need for a third-party investigation, we will do that," Rice said, adding that Entergy was also working with the relay manufacturer.

Shabab Mehraeen, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Louisiana State University, said relays are common electrical fixtures in businesses and massive facilities such as the Superdome.

"They are designed to keep a problem they sense from becoming something bigger, like a fire or catastrophic event," he said.

The devices vary in size. Mehraeen, who was not familiar with the relay at the Superdome, said he "wouldn't be surprised if it was bigger than a truck."

The reasons the devices fail are the subject of much academic research into the interaction of relays with the complex electrical systems they regulate.

"It's not unusual for them to have problems," Mehraeen said. "They can be unpredictable, despite national testing standards recommended by manufacturers."

Entergy and SMG had both upgraded lines and equipment in the months leading up to the Super Bowl. Rice said the new gear, with the faulty relay, was installed as part of a $4.2 million upgrade by Entergy that included a new power line dedicated solely to the stadium.

In a separate project, SMG replaced lines coming into the stadium after managers expressed concerns the Superdome might be vulnerable to a power failure like the one that struck Candlestick Park during an NFL game in 2011.

Thornton stressed Friday that the dome was drawing only about two-thirds of its power capacity Super Bowl night. He said typical NFL games in late August or September can draw a little more.

Friday's announcement appeared to absolve Superdome officials of any missteps in the blackout.

City officials had worried that the Super Bowl outage might harm New Orleans' chances of getting another NFL championship game.

But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell downplayed that possibility, saying the league planned to keep New Orleans in its Super Bowl plans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city intends to bid for the game again in 2018.

___

Associated Press Writer Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Top 9th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Cleveland 3 Top 9th Inning
Detroit 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle 2 Top 8th Inning
Texas 0
Boston 1 Top 6th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 2 Top 7th Inning
Houston 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland 0 Top 1st Inning
LA Angels 0
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Los Angeles - P. Maholm 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 102 4th Qtr 3:06
Milwaukee 93
Dallas 80 4th Qtr 9:43
Memphis 78
Detroit 101 4th Qtr 7:21
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Cleveland 108
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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