PUD General Manager and Communications Director updated City Council on recent power outages and special PUD services
Who: about 10,000 customers lost power. All available PUD Line personnel worked the whole time. Great teamwork – Customers communicate with us, media shared our updates, PUD team worked together well: Operations Service Linemen and Crews, Customer Service (call takers), Dispatch, Ian, Supervisors.
What: snow late in the week, ice hit Friday and into Saturday. Ice loading strained hardware and wire, weak links broke. 3 transmission system outages and over 50 distribution system locations damaged. PUD replaced 5 poles, 7 transformers, and cleaned 2 oil spills.
Where: snow throughout GH County, ice along the coast Tokeland to Kalaloch, and a few miles inland.
When: affected Friday night through Sunday afternoon. Half were due to 3 transmission outages, which deenergize entire substations until switching or repair can reestablish service. Everyone was back in power in less than 48 hours.
Once all PUD customers were back on, 2 crews were sent to Vancouver to help with Clark Public Utilities’ restoration. “Mutual aid”
Overhead (OH) and underground (UG) utilities in Ocean Shores (OS):
- The storm raised interest in undergrounding more of the PUD’s OH facilities in OS.
- Longstanding OS ordinances require new development to have UG utilities.
- For over 20 years, all new PUD power facilities in OS have been installed UG.
- There are more UG PUD facilities in OS by % than anywhere else in GH County.
- UG avoids some outage exposure (weather) but is "invisible" and still affected by salt air/corrosion and errant drivers, since there are lots of aboveground structures.
- UG outages take longer to identify and fix, so there may be fewer outages but they can last longer.
- UG is far more expensive than overhead – multiples, not a percentage.
- UG can look better than poles and OH wire, but note that transmission lines that feed subs are all OH – down Dolphin Ave to Ocean Lake Way
- Ice storms are rare, 1996 was last major one people at the PUD could recall.
- The weaker overhead system components that an ice storm would break did and are now fixed and strengthened.
- Overhead PUD facilities can be converted to UG on request with cost borne by City/requestor.
- In general, if a UG conversion would cause problems for our customers or long term costs, we may not do it, even if a customer(s) would pay.
Mr. Burkhart also spoke of special programs and services that the PUD offers relating to Pandemic Relief and a Low Income Program, below are links to more information regarding these services.
Special Services - Senior and Disabled Discount Program
Grays Harbor PUD Covid-19 Assistance Program
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