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Power outages hit county residents

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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The Mason County PUD 3 battled three power outages in the last week that cut power to about 6,000 customers.

On Nov. 7, 2,700 customers lost power due to a power line insulator failure in Dayton, then on early Monday morning, two outages struck on separate ends of the county.

About 1,300 PUD 3 customers on Harstine Island, and Pickering Road woke up without power that day, due to a damaged power pole just west of the Harstine Island bridge.

"We had a report that there was a loud bang and some arcing and when we went out there we found the pole was damaged," said Joel Myer, public information and government relations manager for the utility.

The initial outage happened at about 10 p.m. Sunday night and affected only part of the island. Crews determined that power had to be cut to the island to fix the damage.

Power was restored to all affected customers at 8:17 a.m. Monday.

Another damaged power pole caused headaches for Matlock and Dayton residents that morning. A pole on the Shelton-Matlock Road just west of Lake Nahwatzel broke in half that morning, and leaned dangerously over the roadway. Traffic was diverted around the damage.

A "cutout," which holds a fuse on the pole, failed early Monday morning, causing a fire that burned through the pole, causing it to break in half. PUD crews used fire extinguishers to put out the fire, and began tearing down the damaged pole.

This incident was particularly dangerous, Myer said, because the pole supports both transmission and distribution lines, both of which were still live as the damaged pole dangled over the road.

PUD crews had to cut power to the lines Monday, then replace the damaged pole.

"We're looking at about 2,000 customers that are going to be affected by this," Myer said.

The outage affected customers from the Shelton Matlock Interchange west to the Mason County line and parts of Cloquallum Road. Power was restored to those areas by Monday evening.

A total of 2,700 PUD 3 customers were without power on Nov. 7 after a power line insulator failure at the Dayton substation west of Shelton.

At 5:25 p.m. on Nov. 8, customers in much of the southwest portion of Mason County, including part of the city of Shelton, lost power.

PUD 3 linemen restored power to about 600 customers that night by connecting their power to another substation.

"We have the ability to reroute electricity... to other substations to pick up more customers," Myer said.

Power was restored to all affected customers and the damage was fixed at the Dayton substation at 12:55 a.m. Thursday.

PUD 3 and Bonneville Power Administration personnel assessed the problem, and found that the outage was caused by damage to power lire insulators at the Dayton substation.

Insulators, also called stacks, help keep power lines away from each other and the power pole, Myer said.

"One of those insulators broke and fell and that's what caused the outage," he said. *

Myer said PUD staff is not sure why the insulator failed.

Affected areas included Beerbower Road, Beeville Loop Road, Carmen Road, Dayton Airport Road, Deckerville, Fish Hatchery Road, Ford Road, Hidden Haven, Highland Road, Highway 101 North, Little Egypt Road, Matlock, Plug Mill Road, some areas of Shelton, a portion of Sanderson Field, Satsop Road East, Schafer Park, Shelton Valley, Shelton-Matlock Road, Simpson Mill 5, West Boundary Road, Lost Lake, Star Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Badger »Lane, East Deegan Road and the Shelton Matlock Interchange.

Copyright 2012 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 15, 2012

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