April 24, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 4

Power goes out in Coulee Dam

Electric service went down in the town of Coulee Dam just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, morning and would not be restored until late afternoon.

On a steep hillside above town, Barry Peacock walks away from a repaired cable at the heart of last week’s power outage. — Scott Hunter photo

Lake Roosevelt High School dismissed for the day, and businesses in town were closed.

It’s unusual for the whole town of Coulee Dam to lose power at once, since it has redundant power feeds coming into the town’s utility.

Or at least it normally does. That was the problem. Last year’s big fires took out wooden power poles that carry the town’s “Feeder Four” line, leaving the town without backup.

A contractor, Christenson Electric, Inc., working on replacing those poles dug too close to the buried main line, confirmed Barry Peacock the town’s superintendent.

Power was restored after a day of hand splicing the cable cut by a trackhoe digging to set a new 55-foot pole.

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