Power Outage Hits 900+ in Chelan Co. Amid Sub-Zero Temps
Update: Dec. 23, 2022 at 10:02 a.m.
Power was restored to all areas around 9:30 a.m.
Update: Dec. 22, 2022 at 4:15 p.m.
Update on the Lake Wenatchee outages on Thursday.
East Leavenworth Road: 383 customers were originally out of power, but was reduced after isolating the outage area, all power was restored by 11 a.m.
Tumwater Canyon/Icicle Road: Reported at 8:02 a.m., 736 residents were initially out of power, but was reduced to 625 residents when power was rerouted to 111 customers.
Union Valley: 67 customers out, restored at 9:11 a.m.
Entiat Valley: 18 customers out, restored at 10: 45 a.m.
All four outages were weather-related.
As of 3 p.m., no customers have stopped by the warming center at the Leavenworth PUD auditorium. The warming center will be opened as needed until power is restored.
If power is still out by Thursday night, Chelan PUD will staff the warming center until customers can make overnight arrangements. Crews expect power to be restored by 5 p.m.
A cold load pick-up created another outage on East Leavenworth Road, after Chelan PUD tried restoring power around 8 a.m.
A cold load pick-up is when power is restored after an outage,and that electrical demand overloads the system and creates another outage.
Chelan PUD recommends turning off non-heating appliances for the first two hours after power is restored.
Original: Dec. 22, 2022 at 11:53 a.m.
Four separate power outages left over 900 residents in Chelan County without electricity during sub-zero temperatures Thursday morning.
The largest outage occurred just before 7:30 a.m. and affected 736 Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) customers along Icicle Road and U.S. Highway 2 in the Tumwater Canyon area.
Other outages affected 95 PUD customers on East Leavenworth Road around 5 a.m., 67 who lost power at 8 a.m. on Union Valley Road, and 20 PUD customers on Lower Entiat River Road.
PUD spokesperson, Rachel Hansen, says whenever the power goes out - especially in colder weather - customers need to help the utility avoid an issue called cold load pickup, which can lengthen outages and prevent service from being restored.
"When we fix whatever's wrong and then try and restore power, all of the electrical demands that were on the system prior to the outage come rushing back and can overload the electrical grid, causing the power to go out again."
To prevent cold load pickup from happening, Hansen says PUD customers who experience an outage should turn off all of their non-heating appliances as soon as the outage occurs.
Hansen adds that it's an especially busy time for the PUD and demands on its electrical infrastructures are extremely high.
"We're experiencing record electrical demand right now. In Chelan County, we use the most electricity when it's cold outside. It's about double what we use in the winter when compared to the warmest summer day."
The PUD opened the Leavenworth Auditorium at 9 a.m. for residents affected by the outages to use as a warming center.
The outage in Tumwater Canyon was traced to malfunctioning equipment, while the causes of the other three outages are currently under investigation.
Power was restored to roughly 300 customers by mid-morning, including all of those impacted by the outages on East Leavenworth Road, Union Valley Road, and Lower Entiat River Road.
About 625 customers were still without power in the Tumwater Canyon area at noon on Thursday.