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PUD assessing power line damage in Plain-Lake Wenatchee areas; outage could be lengthy

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PUD assessing power line damage in Plain-Lake Wenatchee areas; outage could be lengthy

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December 18, 2012

Fallen Trees(Plain, WA) Chelan County PUD line crews resumed work Tuesday morning in an effort to restore power to the Plain and Lake Wenatchee areas following a day of heavy wet snow and high winds that toppled many trees and brought down power lines on Monday.

PUD staff planned to fly a helicopter over the affected areas at midmorning Tuesday to visually inspect major transmission lines that still need to be cleared of trees before substations at Lake Wenatchee and Plain can be re-energized.

Safety for local residents is the number one priority for the crews, and all residents are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to refrain from trying to remove any limbs or downed trees that may be touching power lines.

Residents are also asked to leave a porch light on so crews can know whether there is power at a residence or business. Residents using portable generators are urged to make sure the generator is not feeding power back into the grid; usually there is a transfer switch that controls the flow of electricity. Residents are also cautioned to turn off electronic devices to avoid possible damage. Water heaters and other large load devices should be turned off and then gradually turned back on when power is restored to avoid problems from “cold load pickup” when too much energy is used all at once and further problems can result.

Larger transmission lines serving the Lake Wenatchee Substation and the Plain Substation (serving a total of approximately 3,200 customers) were to be the main priority for crews working Tuesday. Other PUD crews planned to assess damage on additional power lines so linemen could be most effective tackling repairs as soon as power is restored to the main transmission lines and substations.

No estimates on when power might be restored could be made until clear damage assessments are completed Tuesday, and residents are cautioned to prepare for an extended outage that could last several days in some cases. PUD crews are coordinating their work with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and the county Public Works Department in order to clear trees and any downed lines on roads that could be a hazard to traffic. The county was asking local residents to stay off local roads. A new storm bringing additional snow was forecast this week, and new outages could be possible depending on the severity of the weather.

Report power outages or get updated information by calling the PUD’s 24-hour number, 1-877-783-8123. Listen to the recording and stay on the line if you have information to add or a special need. You can also get outage information on your cell phone by following “CCPUD” on Twitter.

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