Blackouts caused by last week’s heat wave, which plunged two U.S. Navy housing complexes in Sicily into darkness for several hours, has base officials working with the local power company to mitigate future problems.
Unseasonably warm temperatures enveloped parts of Sicily last week. Last Tuesday, temperatures hit about 115 degrees, prompting the power company, Enel, to enact rolling blackouts throughout the city of Catania, which affected two Navy housing areas, according to Lt. Jon Groveman, a Naval Air Station Sigonella spokesman.
Marinai housing complex sustained about a four-hour blackout, while residents in Mineo had about three hours with no power, Groveman said. Neither Navy base, NAS I and NAS II, was affected by outages, and operations were not interrupted, he said.
“Our base public works officer is working with Enel to understand what they are doing to mitigate future incidents, and to try to get a schedule of potential short- term future power outages,” Groveman said.
Much of southern Europe suffered through unseasonably hot temperatures last week.
At Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, the community relations’ children’s outdoor event scheduled for June 20 had to be rescheduled for Sept. 19 because of the high temperatures, base spokesman Paul Farley said.
Two weeks ago, temperatures in Souda climbed to 110 degrees for eight days, then dropped to about 100 degrees last week.
During the hottest eight-day spell, local communities turned on air conditioners, causing a outage that affected the base for about eight hours one day, Farley said, though the base kicked on its emergency generator power and base residents did not notice.
Temperatures at both Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, and Naval Station Rota, Spain, have hovered around the high 80s and low 90s, seasonable temperatures that have not affected base operations or caused power outages, base officials said.