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1. Lines were shorted for example a squirrel or a branch went across two hot lines or a hot and a ground. That system was intentionally let the short remain in effect for several seconds in order to try to burn through the offending object during which time all loads on the circuit get very much reduced voltage and after which time the power goes back to normal.

But I think that the system breaker will trip (or a fuse up on a utility pole may blow, usually with a super loud pop) long before 40 seconds. Then the power company needs to send someone out to find the fault, remove it, and reset the breaker manually.

2. There is a damaged wire or loose connection at your house, or up on a utility pole, that breaks and re-makes in the wind.

Fault -- Situation, such as wires touching that should not, allowing an unwanted current flow.
 

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