About 500 Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative customers were without power for almost three hours Saturday night when high winds in a winter storm blew a tree onto a power pole, breaking it in two.

The pole was located near the juncture of Carpenterville and Cape Ferrelo roads.

Customers in the area saw two outages that night when winds up to 70 mph struck the region.

According to Jacob Knudsen, marketing and member services official with the cooperative, the first outage involved a branch that fell on a power line, causing it to short circuit.

“That one was pretty simple,” he said. “A tree fell on the communication line below ours and broke our pole in half. It pulled the whole pole down. But the wire didn’t break. It (the wires) lifted the pole 6 feet in the air because the tension.”

Linemen battled the wind and rain to cut the tree off the wires, dig a hole adjacent to the broken pole, hoist the broken pole up and bolt the two back together. The pole will have to be replaced.

“To replace that pole is a full day’s worth of work,” he said, adding that installing a new pole generally costs $2,000 to $5,000.

“Given the wind we had, this was the only significant outage we had — that was pretty impressive,” Knudsen said. “We had a couple minor outages in Gold Beach, but nothing that affected more than a handful of people.”

The winter storm dumped just over an inch of rain over the area.

The winds also contributed to high waves that challenged crab fishermen who were out for the first day to retrieve pots on the central part of the coast. Domoic acid levels in crab from Cape Arago south to the Oregon-California border are still too high to open that area to fishing, but it tested clean a week ago. A second test was due to be conducted late last week, and if domoic acid levels remain at low, the state may open the zones south of Cape Arago near Coos Bay to fishing.

The storm’s not over, however.

South-facing beaches were expected to see high waves through today (Jan. 9), with surf heights of 20 to 22 feet, and up to 25 feet along south-facing coastlines, national weather forecasters said.