St. Helens, OR - February 8, 2017 - A snowstorm on Super Bowl Sunday caused scattered power outages in Columbia County.
Wet, heavy snow repeatedly knocked trees and branches down into power lines throughout Columbia River People's Utility District's service area, resulting in multiple outages. The steady snowfall continued to cause havoc while crews made repairs.
"We would patrol a line and it would be fine. Then we'd turn around to come back and see a tree had come down through it," said Journeyman Lineman Travis Weber.
Crews were forced to make repeat repairs to the same trouble spots when additional trees or branches fell after the initial repairs were made. Reworking a stretch of power lines is all part of a lineman's job, Weber said.
"I'm sure it's frustrating for the customer to have their power come on and then go back off again," Weber said.
The PUD received its first reported outage at 12:25 p.m. on Sunday, February 5. The majority of the outages affected PUD customers in the Rainier area, although outages were reported in Scappoose, Warren, St. Helens, Deer Island, and Goble as well.
PUD crews worked through the night Sunday into Monday, restoring power to all customers by 6:05 p.m. on Monday evening.
Outages affected 1,977 customers. The average outage length was 8 hours and 26 minutes.
During the restoration effort, the PUD received reports of snow as deep as 22 inches in some areas.
About Columbia River PUD
Columbia River PUD provides electric service to 18,995 customers in Columbia and Multnomah Counties. The PUD currently employs 48 people and had a total operating and non-operating income of $29.0 million in 2015.
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