ST. GEORGE – An act of vandalism knocked out electricity to thousands of residents of Kane and Garfield counties for more than seven hours Sunday afternoon.
Garkane Energy’s southern system went down at approximately 12:40 p.m. after someone shot a main transformer several times with a high-powered rifle. The affected area included Kanab, Big Water, Orderville, Glendale, Hatch and other small neighboring towns.
Power was restored at approximately 8 p.m. after Garkane installed a portable substation.
Crews were able to quickly install the replacement to reduce outage time and get power restored before dark.
Because of the extensive damage to the main transformer, repairs will be ongoing for the next 12 months, the statement said.
Company officials are working with local police and possibly federal authorities to find the person or persons responsible for the incident.
“This is a very serious criminal offense that will bring a severe punishment to those found guilty,” Garkane officials said in a statement.
“Garkane wishes to reiterate the serious nature of this type of criminal offense. Any sort of vandalism made to electricity equipment is considered a criminal offense and is punishable by law,” the statement said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Kane County Sheriff’s Department at 435-644-2349.
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