Damaged power pole causes outage in Umatilla County

UMATILLA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE NEWS RELEASE -- Some 9,450 Umatilla Electric and Hermiston Energy Services customers lost power early today when a 115-kilovolt line was damaged during a farm harvesting operation.

Beginning at 2:20 a.m., a protective breaker opened at Umatilla Electric's wholesale power point-of-delivery at McNary. That touched off a widespread outage to customers served by the Power City, Hermiston Butte, Umatilla, Westland, Ordnance, Homestead and Butter Creek substations.

UEC crews patrolling power lines to determine why the breaker opened found a 115-kV power pole had been damaged during farm harvesting in the Ordnance vicinity. Crews searched that area because flashes of light had been observed south of Interstate 84.

Power was restored as of 4:56 a.m. to 7,263 customers. By 7:30 a.m., all but about 292 customers had been restored to power. The Ordnance substation may have to remain out of power until crews can replace the pole just outside of the substation.