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Traffic light outages are joint effort between OPPD, city

December 7, 2020 | Jason Kuiper | how does that work, partnerships, power outages
Overhead wire with three traffic signals, traffic light outages

When storms strike and cause power outages in the Omaha metro area, it can also mean traffic light outages.

As drivers cautiously navigate the affected traffic signals, they may wonder one thing: “Who fixes these things?”

There’s two causes for a traffic signal to malfunction.

  • Traffic lights switch to flashing mode when they receive a surge in power, which sends them into protection mode. When this happens, the city must reset them at the controller, said Steve Fanslau, director, Customer Services Government Infrastructure at OPPD.
  • When the traffic light is completely dark, that’s when OPPD crews must go to the power source and make repairs, Fanslau said.

So the next time you’re navigating blinking or darkened traffic signals you’ll know who is on the way to fix the traffic light outages.

No matter which situation you encounter with traffic signals, remember to be cautious while driving. Law enforcement officials remind motorists to treat traffic lights as four-way stop signs when they are completely darkened or flashing. Below is a graphic that breaks down the rules.

OUT_4-Way Stop graphic


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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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