A power outage Monday afternoon affected the entire Ketchikan Public Utilities system for less than an hour.

KPU Electric Division Manager Andy Donato says the outage was caused by some work that’s under way at the Swan Lake Hydroelectric dam, which is owned by Southeast Alaska Power Agency.

“The way it was described to me, one of their contractors was putting in some small wires and managed to trip the breaker coming down here to Ketchikan,” he said. “In so doing, dropped that generation from SEAPA and then all of our distribution responded by going into load shed.”

In simple terms, load shed means the power goes out.

Donato says the outage started at about 1:20 p.m. After KPU crews figured out what caused the power outage, they turned on the diesel generators and started bringing customers back on.

Donato says power was restored to everyone by a little after 2 p.m.

He says the system remained on diesel generation as of about 4 p.m. while waiting for SEAPA to give the all-clear to return to hydro generation.

KPU receives the bulk of its hydro power from Swan Lake.