Traffic Signals Disrupter

Traffic signals along Highway 101 through Brookings were out during the power disruption.

Electricity was disrupted for an estimated 11,000 Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative customers, from Gold Beach south to the Oregon-California border, from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to utility spokesman Jacob Knudsen.

“A switch opened up at a Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) substation north of Gold Beach,” Knudsen said. “The switch opened after detecting a ground fault in a transmission line. That could be a broken pole, a tree on a line, or a downed pole.”

Crews from Coos-Curry Co-Op and the BPA were dispatched to locate the outage and repair the break.

Meanwhile, motorists driving through rainswept Brookings were struggling to cope with darkened traffic signals, as intersections jammed.

A spokesperson for the Brookings-Harbor School District said the outage caused all afternoon and evening events and practices on Brookings-Harbor school campus to be canceled Tuesday afternoon.

In an email issued at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the District announced that classes in the district would be on normal schedule Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Knudsen said the utility was able to track the outage to a broken insulator on a BPA transmission line about two miles north of Gold Beach.

“We worked with BPA to transfer the load to an alternative line,” Knudsen said. “Once that was completed, we reenergized the seven substations impacted by the outage and began staggering electricity back to our customers.”

Knudsen said full power was restored to all customers by 6:30 p.m.

The Tuesday outage followed on the heels of a similar incident Sept. 12 in Crescent City that affected 1,400 customers. That outage was caused by a tree limb that fell across a power line at 9th and B streets.

The following is from the website ready.gov/power-outages.

Power Outages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
  • Prevent use of medical devices.
  • Protect Yourself During A Power Outage:
  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
  • Check on neighbors.

How To Stay Safe When A Power Outage Threatens:

Prepare NOW

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

Survive DURING

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer.
  • Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
  • Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
  • Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.

Be Safe AFTER

When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist and use medicine only until a new supply is available.

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