WA: Widespread outage causes thousands to lose power

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TACOMA -- Thousands of Tacoma Power customers
were without service Friday morning in Tacoma
and parts of Pierce County after a widespread outage.

The utility suffered a problem in its transmission
system, causing up to 70,000 customers to lose
power, said Tacoma Power spokeswoman Sue Veseth.
That's about half the utility's customers.

The cause of the outage was not immediately known.
Crews were working to fix the problem, but it was
unknown when all power would be restored. Lights
had come back on in some areas just before 8 a.m.,
about an hour after the 6:50 a.m. outage.

Seattle P-I

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), April 06, 2001


UPDATE: Power Restored After Big Outage In Tacoma Area

April 6, 2001 By Keith Eldridge

PIERCE COUNTY - Power has been restored to 70,000 Pierce County utility customers after a problem at a major substation in the north end of Tacoma left them without electricity several hours Friday morning.

Earlier reports that a transformer exploded were wrong.

As of 10 a.m., electricity was back for all but about a dozen customers.

Tacoma Power officials said the substation problem shut down a 230,000-volt transmission line.

Steve Bailey, the Pierce County Emergency Management director, said that when the main transmission line coming from Tacoma's hydroelectric power plant at Lake Cushman went down it knocked out power to about half of the Tacoma Public Utilities customers, around 70,000.

Areas affected included parts of Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Fife, University Place and other areas.

Bailey said emergency generators came online as they should at the County-City Building in downtown Tacoma. But he said this was a "good trial run" for what might happen if the region is hit with rolling blackouts as some predict.

Mary Coffee with Bates Technical College says both campuses closed for the day due to the outage.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 07, 2001.

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