Tuesday, April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021

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Crews work to restore power as Clark County’s slow thaw continues

Many schools remain closed; others have switched to a remote learning approach

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:
2 Photos
Clark County Public Utilities crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore power to its customers following this weekend’s winter weather and ongoing thaw. A spokesman said some roads are still inaccessible due to fallen trees.
Clark County Public Utilities crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore power to its customers following this weekend’s winter weather and ongoing thaw. A spokesman said some roads are still inaccessible due to fallen trees. (Clark Public Utilities/Randy Kepple) Photo Gallery

Clark Public Utilities crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore power to hundreds of its customers following this weekend’s winter weather and ongoing thaw.

As of 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, there were 100 affected customers, with most of those in north Clark County. Crews had restored power to 1,235 customers since Tuesday morning.

The utility’s largest issue is access into areas where roads are littered with fallen trees, said spokesman Dameon Pesanti.

“There are a lot of trees on the roads in north county, so many we can’t get our rigs in,” Pesanti said.

Thankfully, no major pieces of infrastructure, such as transmission lines, substations and feeders, are down, he said. There are a few dozen wires down, but crews are still trying to get into dangerous locations.

There are 150 crew members working on the outages. That total doesn’t include the many customer service staffers who have been fielding calls since the issues arose Friday. There are also two crews from Grays Harbor PUD that traveled to Clark County to help out.

That the utility employed a mutual aid agreement indicates the magnitude of the weather event, Pesanti said.

Around 110 outages have occurred since the start of the weekend, which have affected 51,000 customers, according to the utility. More than half of those customers lost power due to a fault on a transmission line on Saturday.

The biggest impacts have been in the northern and western parts of the county. The winter and ice storms moved through the county in a way that hit the forested mountain areas the worst.

The utility does not have a timeline for when repairs will be completed. When power will be restored to all of its customers is being dictated by the conditions on the ground, Pesanti said.

The National Weather Service forecast that steady rain will move into the Wednesday night or Thursday.

Schools have taken different approaches as snow and slush still clog many side streets. You can see an updated list of closures at The Columbian’s school closure page. Clark College said power outages may impact remote and online classes. Individual instructors will contact students by email.

C-Tran service returned from limited levels on Monday. The Vine was served by 40-foot buses — riders were asked to board the bus at the designated location adjacent to each transit station — and the Turtle Place station remained closed.

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