Weather-Related Power Outages Affect Three Substations, 3,700 Lewis County Residents

Power outages related to gusty wind conditions left an estimated 3,700 Lewis County residents without power for varying lengths of time between 7 p.m. Tuesday night and 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Lewis County PUD.

At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, Lewis County PUD reported an outage affecting a “widespread area” from the Avery Road substation in the Winlock area to the intersection of Mary’s Corner and U.S. Highway 12, including businesses at the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Interstate 5 in Napavine.

At 8:45 p.m., the PUD announced power had been restored.

PUD Communications Liaison Cory Moses said it wasn’t clear exactly what caused the outage, but said windy weather was suspected to be the culprit.

According to the National Weather Service, wind speeds reached as high as 22 miles per hour late Tuesday night, as measured at the Centralia-Chehalis Airport, with gusts as high as 37 miles per hour.

At about 11 p.m. Tuesday, the PUD reported a second outage caused by an interruption of power from the Bonneville Power Administration to two Lewis County substations on Leonard Road in Onalaska and in Salkum.

The outage affected areas on state Route 508, Silver Creek, Cinebar, Salkum, Onalaska and Ethel.

Power was restored by 1:45 a.m. Wednesday

“We’re not 100 percent certain what happened,” Moses said.

Moses said wind could have caused the lines to collide, causing the outage.

“Sometimes through really unique circumstances they can slap together and anytime they touch something it causes a fault,” she said.

Another outage was reported in Vader Tuesday night, but was repaired by Cowlitz County PUD staff, due to the outage occurring on that utility’s infrastructure, Moses said.

Centralia City Light also received reports of scattered wind-related outages in the Edison District, which were quickly restored, said M.L. Norton, general manager of Centralia City Light.