Dual bolts of lightning strike along Highway 12 near the landfill at the height of the storm.
Photo by Greg Lehman.
The following is a news release from Pacific Power:
WALLA WALLA - Pacific Power crews from throughout the region are helping to restore electricity to the company's Walla Walla area customers affected by the strong storm that swept through on Thursday night.
Pacific Power crews from Hood River, Madras, Bend, Portland and Astoria arrived in the Walla Walla area on Friday to help local Walla Walla and Columbia County crews fix downed lines, damaged poles and other storm-related damage. As of Friday afternoon, approximately 1,200 Pacific Power customers in the Walla Walla area remained without power. The company advises customers that some of those affected could remain without power until late evening on Saturday.
"This storm created a high number of relatively small, localized outages around Walla Walla," said Doug Butler, vice president of operations for Pacific Power. "That means we don't have a large number of customers out in any one area, , so it will take our crews some time to safely restore service in all of these customers."
The Walla Walla area was hit particularly hard by the storm that also affected other parts of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Service to the company's customers in other areas was largely restored on Thursday night and Friday morning.
"Pacific Power appreciates our customers' patience as we work to get their service restored," said Bill Clemens, regional community manager. "While we're working to restore service as quickly possible, we also urge our customers to be safe, and take necessary precautions and preparations for an outage that could last longer than anticipated for some."
Safety reminders include:
- Check on friends and neighbors who may need assistance.
- As much as possible, do not open refrigerators and freezers--they will keep food and perishables inside cold for some time if not opened.
- Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don't use charcoal in your house or garage.
- If using a generator, make sure it is properly wired for your home or business, and don't connect a generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. This can create a dangerous backfeed hazard for lines crews. Be certain the generator is in a well-ventilated area.
- Unplugging appliances, televisions and other electrical equipment around the home will reduce demand on the system as power is brought back on.
Pacific Power crews are working on this as a top priority. Updates will be provided as available. For more information, call Pacific Power toll free at 877-508-5088. For periodic updates, go to www.pacificpower.netoutage.