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Power restored in west central Columbia

Power is restored in west central Columbia.

A semitruck knocked down a power line on Business Loop, causing the outage, around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Water & Light crews worked for several hours to restore power and replace a broken utility pole.

Billy Lewis, a lineman for Water & Light, said the department is understaffed but was able to get the electricity back on, “within a relatively fast time,” on Sunday.

He said a shortage of lineworkers has made restoring power difficult.

“Understaffing is making large outages especially hard to be efficient at,” Lewis said.

ABC 17 News has previously reported that the city is struggling to fill and retain linemen because of wages.

“We’ve got really dedicated guys,” he said. “We just don’t have enough dedicated guys.”

The Columbia City Council voted to raise the pay of lineworkers last Monday. We reported that many lineworkers said the increase still won’t be enough to keep qualified people from going to other cities.

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