Two underground cable failures in Columbia's Town Center knocked out electrical service yesterday to 248 customers, including part of The Mall in Columbia.
Service was restored by 4:09 p.m. to all of the commercial and residential customers affected by the outage, said Darcel Guy, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.
The outage, which occurred at 1:31 p.m., cut electrical service to Hecht's and the shops along the two-level section of the mall leading to the department store, said Rodney Renner, the mall's general manager.
The blackout inconvenienced shoppers and sent employees on extended breaks when some stores were forced to shut down. The mall's electrical service was restored by about 2:30 p.m., Mr. Renner said.
During most outages, the mall receives electrical service from another BGE substation, but equipment that handles the power transfer was not working properly, Mr. Renner said. Once the equipment was repaired, power was restored to the darkened wing of the mall.
Ms. Guy said BGE crews determined that the outage was caused by two malfunctioning underground cables along Little Patuxent Parkway at Wincopin Circle and Sterrett Place.
Electrical service was provided to the customers through other power lines while crews repaired the cables, Ms. Guy said.
A traffic light at the intersection of Little Patuxent Parkway and Sterrett Place, which serves the mall and several nearby office buildings, also was out for about two hours because of the power failure.
Sgt. Steven Keller, spokesman for the Howard County Police Department, said two patrol officers were stationed at the intersection to direct traffic.