Gusty winds cause power woes for Clallam County

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

Gusty winds on the North Olympic Peninsula resulted in power lines sparking and a tree fire in Port Angeles on Monday morning and a power outages in other parts of Clallam County.

The biggest problems were in the Port Angeles area.

“Our troubles started at 5 a.m.,” said Jim Clarr, night operations manager for the Port Angeles city Electric Utility.

The first call was for arcing lines down at the west-side corner of West 18th and South McDonald streets, Clarr said.

With the Port Angeles Fire Department standing by, the lines were repaired and power returned to customers in the neighborhood by 8:40 a.m., he said.

Soon after, Clarr said, the city received a report of tree branches burning in power lines on the 177 block of McDougal Avenue.

That situation was fixed by 10 a.m.

“It was all due to the wind,” Clarr said.

The North Olympic Peninsula appeared to have the peak gusts of all of Western Washington on Monday, the National Weather Service recorded.

Some top gusts: 32 mph at William R. Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles; 33 mph on Tatoosh Island off Cape Flattery; 32 mph in Port Townsend; 36 mph on a maritime buoy directly north of Dungeness; and 44 mph at Race Rocks, B.C., across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Port Angeles.

Clarr said that crews would remain on call through the night.

In unincorporated areas east of Port Angeles, tree branches falling on a power line resulted in a power outage for about 560 customers in the Deer Park Road area, including Township Line Road and the upper end of O’Brien Road.

About 560 customers were without power beginning at about 3 p.m., said Mike Howe, Clallam County PUD spokesman.

Power was restored at 3:35 p.m., Howe said.

In East Jefferson County, where the Jefferson County Public Utility District took over electrical services April 1, there were no problems due to wind, said Kevin Streett, PUD electrical supervisor.

”We were here awful early this morning,” Streett said, noting that crews had arrived at 4 a.m.

But by 4 p.m. no problems had materialized.



Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 29. 2013 6:02PM
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