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Spring Wind Causes Unplanned Power Outages

by Apr 16, 2021

Goldendale, WA, April 16, 2021 – Klickitat PUD may experience unplanned power outages as a result of several things: transmission providers, vehicle or construction accidents and most recently extreme weather events to name a few.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: April Greenlaw

Phone: 509-773-7638

Email: agreenlaw@klickpud.com

 

Spring Wind Causes Unplanned Power Outages

Goldendale, WA, April 16, 2021 – Klickitat PUD may experience unplanned power outages as a result of  several things: transmission providers, vehicle or construction accidents and most recently extreme weather events to name a few. Since January 2021, KPUD has experienced several large, multi-town outages caused by the irregular and extremely damaging wind events.  Though the wind itself does not cause the outage, the impact it has on trees and structures certainly interrupts the power supply.

A common indicator the electric system is responding to events is when customers see their lights begin to blink. Though these interruptions can be frustrating, these blinks are often intentional.  Protective devices attempting to clear the lines from trees, ice and snow or other debris cause the blinks and are normal functions for the electric system to operate and reduce the impact on the entire system. Depending on the equipment, this could happen off and on during the weather event or you may notice that your power will simply not come back on after a few back-to-back blinks, as has been the case recently in Goldendale. Under these circumstances, customers experience power outages because the lines were unable to clear themselves and as a protective measure, have automatically de-energized.

Vegetation management is a key preventative measure which KPUD continues to focus heavily upon.   Since expanding tree trimming efforts over recent years, substation reliability has improved and the frequency of tree-related power outages customers experience has decreased. KPUD crews and contractors are diligent in their efforts to reduce right-of-way hazards and maintain power line easements to utility standards in an effort to prevent the number of trees that threaten the power line and potentially cause outages. Customers who have trees of concern are encouraged to report them. We will send notifications to customers as we have crews in your area to perform right-of-way maintenance.

Unfortunately, the recent wind events we have experienced caused a number of outages with extensive damage. The crews and supporting outage staff have effectively identified issues and restored power as safely and quickly as possible. The safety of our employees is our highest priority while working in the elements.  There may be occasions when crews are called back until conditions improve, but rest assure we will return as soon as possible.  As we near National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18, be sure to thank a lineman (and all those who support them)!