LINCOLN, NH – A power outage on May 15 that affected 2,900 members of New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) was caused by an act of vandalism that heavily damaged equipment at NHEC’s substation in Lincoln.

Responding to reports of voltage fluctuations in Lincoln, NHEC personnel discovered that copper ground wires had been cut and stolen from beneath the substation that provides electric service to members in Lincoln. In order to restore power safely to members, NHEC brought the substation offline at 7 p.m. and performed switching operations that restored power in stages to all affected members by 8:11 p.m.

NHEC officials estimate the vandalism caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage to substation equipment. Lincoln Police have been notified and are investigating. Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Lincoln Police.

Elsewhere around NHEC service territory, other outages were restored in a timely manner on May 15 by contract line crews. The largest outage occurred in the Raymond area, where approximately 740 members lost power due to a tree that broke a utility pole in an off-road location at 5:07 p.m. Contract crews replaced the broken pole and restored power to NHEC members by 10:32 p.m.

NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 84,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.