Lightning storm causes blackouts, pole fires

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WALLA WALLA - A thunderstorm that struck the area Saturday morning left a trail of blackouts in its wake.

About 3,500 customers were left without power due to the lightning storms, said Pacific Power spokesman Bob Gravely.

The power failures were scattered throughout the community and affected businesses along Ninth Avenue, as well as traffic signals at the intersections with Chestnut Street, Poplar Street and other locations.

Several power pole fires were also reported in Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater.

Gravely said at 1:45 p.m. Saturday that power had been restored to all but about 118 customers.

Most of the large-scale blackouts were restored fairly soon, he said, but smaller groups of customers were taking crews longer to bring back on-line.

Lightning strikes caused at least one wheat fire that was reported shortly before 7 a.m. on Guy Fine Road northeast of Lowden.

The fire was reported under control at about 7:15 a.m.

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