Chelan PUD Use Snowcats, Showshoes to Reach Downed Line
Numerous power outages have hit the region over the past week and linemen with the Chelan County Public Utility District have been staying busy trying to keep the lights on.
PUD crews have also been resorting to some of their bigger and less-often-utilized tools of the trade to get that job done, including at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday in the Stevens Pass area.
Spokesperson Rachel Hansen says the outage impacted approximately 3,700 customers and was traced to a transmission line in a rugged and remote area.
"It was really hard to access. There's a spot called Deadhorse Canyon that's between Sunitch Canyon in Leavenworth about five miles up the Chumstick Highway that goes across U.S. Forest Service land to Coles Corner. And on either side of this transmission line there are hundred-foot trees."
Hansen says getting to the downed line required several modes of transportation.
"They took two Snowcats up there and starting at around four in the morning they drove through some pretty deep snow, stopping often to saw through a lot of downed trees on their way up to the transmission line. And when they couldn't use the Snowcats to get in any further, they snowshoed in and carried everything they needed to fix the problem on their backs."
After trekking about four miles in, the crew discovered that a large tree had fallen onto the transmission line.
They repaired the issue and power was completely restored by around noon.
The crew then traveled to the Merritt area to remove several downed trees which had knocked out power to a number of residents in the vicinity of Shugart Flats Road and Nason Creek.