GM Message on November 1 Outage in Tygh Valley

Apologies again for the emergency electrical service outage in Tygh Valley last week.  It wasn’t our intention to have anyone miss any part of the World Series!  We will do better in the future when stating whether outages are “EMERGENCY” vs. “PLANNED” in nature.  The majority of electrical outages in our system are the result of failed equipment or weather events.  We’re working hard to prevent the former and build our systems to be resilient against the latter.

Here’s what happened and why it matters; the first picture shows the utility pole that had been damaged in that day's wind storm.  Upon investigation, the pole was found to be rotten throughout (second photo) and the only thing holding it up was the connection to the power lines.  That’s NEVER a good thing!  Having utility poles fall across the road and energized lines potentially falling into dry fuel, or near people is very dangerous and something we take very seriously.  We were forced to isolate the entire electrical system in that area while our skilled Line Crew installed a new pole, transferred services, and ensured the electrical system was safe.  They did this in a timely manner and overcame a challenge with some protective circuitry in the switchyard at the same time.  I am very appreciative of their work and your patience while we completed this emergency repair work.

If you look outside today you can see the weather has changed and that we’re all going to be a bit more reliant on our heating systems and lights than we have been the last few months.  The work that was accomplished in inspecting, testing, and treating utility poles earlier this spring and summer helped us replace 27 poles (out of over 4,000) BEFORE they became an emergency, and before the lights had to be out for longer periods of time to remedy the issue.  Especially when considering the aforementioned failed pole was relatively new in our system (1992 vintage).  We accomplish a lot of work with our own crews but periodically we need the support of our contractor community.  In fact, the Board of Directors just authorized another contract to help us catch up on some more critical work before the end of this year.  That is the lifecycle of an organization and what we work hard to do on your behalf.  We don’t like outages any more than you do.  Especially, during the cold of night, the heat of day, or during the World Series…

The overarching goal of our asset management program is to successfully operate, maintain, and replace our infrastructure in a timely and value-conscious manner for the betterment of our community.  Thank you for your continued trust and support.