Vehicle Crash Causes Outage in St. Helens

A white vehicle on the street with power lines on it.
Photo courtesy of Columbia River Fire & Rescue

St. Helens, OR – July 7, 2021 – A traffic accident in St. Helens knocked out power to 2,200 Columbia River PUD customers on July 6.

A vehicle knocked over a power pole on Columbia Blvd. around 1:45 p.m. Power lines landed on two vehicles, creating a potentially dangerous situation. The two individuals remained safe in their vehicles until emergency responders arrived.

“They did the right thing,” said PUD Operations Manager Kurt Nasshahn. “If someone finds themselves in that situation, they want to call 9-1-1 and stay in their car, don’t panic.”

Power was restored to 1,600 customers within about 50 minutes. The remaining 600 customers – all of whom were in closer proximity to the accident – were without power until about 4:30 p.m., once repairs to the damaged pole were completed.

The PUD would like to remind people that when power lines or power poles are down, stay clear of the area. While it may be tempting to get a closer look at what is going on, by doing so you are putting yourself in danger. Downed power liens may still be energized.

In addition, gathering around a work area can slower the restoration efforts of line crews.

If you see a downed power line, please call the PUD at (503) 397-1844.