Downed power line sizzles, luckily little damage done

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo</I>

KLIPSAN - Some burned grass and customers being out of power for a couple of hours was all the damage that was done when a splice failed on a span of primary PUD wire just north of 198th Place on Pacific Highway Thursday evening. According to PUD Operations Manager Lyle Moore, the first call of a line down came in at 9:51 p.m. November 4 and by 11:58 p.m. everyone was back on line. Wet grass along Pacific Highway was burned for approximately 125 feet, but fortunately no one was near at the time of the break and a wooden fence four feet from the arcing power line did not ignite. The line did not go across the highway, so no vehicles were damaged. One witness who was standing on the other side of the highway said he could feel the ground vibrate from the mini-explosions as the power line arced. "I thought it was a bunch of flares at first," he stated. The Washington State Patrol was on the spot quickly and diverted traffic until the PUD could safely re-splice the line. Moore reminded people, "Never touch a downed line and call the PUD immediately." The number is 642-3191 during business hours and toll free at (877) 602-6465 after regular hours. The phone numbers are also printed on customer's bills.

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