This morning a power outage affecting 1,200 meters in the Hawkins area occurred. This outage was caused by a fire that in turn was caused by copper thieves who broke into Wood County Electric's Faulk-Dobbs substation sometime this morning, stealing copper ground wires. The copper is necessary to stabilize the electrical system and ensure safe operations. Without it, dangerous electrical arcing sparked a fire.Power is projected to be out several hours while linemen work to install a mobile substation to provide power until permanent repairs can be made. The cooperative hopes to have power restored by around 4:30 p.m., if at all possible. In addition to the inconvenience to our members, these vandals’ actions increase cost of service to members. And, each attempt to steal copper creates the potential for serious injury or death, not only for the thief but for the general public and our workers. Copper theft from a utility is a state felony. Anyone with information regarding this theft is reminded that their local Crime Stoppers pays rewards for anonymous tips leading to conviction.