Lineman of Yore
We experience power outages in the Cape Meares area every year … sometimes short, sometimes lasting for several days during cold snaps. Loss of power can occur due to rolling blackouts, extreme weather conditions, or can accompany other disasters such as earthquakes. Our best advice is always to PLAN AHEAD!
If there is no power in your neighborhood:
• Turn off and unplug appliances and computers. Leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored.
• Have a telephone that does not require electricity on hand!
• We strongly recommend having a battery-operated NOAA radio!
• To conserve existing heat within the home, concentrate your activities in one or two adjacent rooms. Keep these area isolated by closing doors.
• Avoid using candles, or a gas or propane stove for heating or operate generators indoors (including the garage). Both could cause carbon monoxide poisoning (CO is a colorless tasteless gas). If you use kerosene or propane space heaters, be sure to provide for lots of space around them and fresh air ventilation.
• If a traffic signal is not working, treat it as a stop sign.
• Food in refrigerators and freezers may be safe to eat for up to 24 hours. Don’t open refrigerators or freezers any more than needed. When power is restored, you may need to completely defrost the freezer and throw away any items that may be thawed too long.
How to Report a Power Outage
Call Tillamook PUD’s 24-hour operations center at 503-842-2122 or 1-800-842-2122 to report the location and circumstances of an outage. During large outages the line may be busy due to the large volume of callers. Please continue to call until you get through.
Make sure to keep a battery-powered radio handy. Tillamook PUD does their best to keep you informed of power outage updates by broadcasting the information on KTIL FM 94.3 and KMBD AM 1590.
Why the Power Goes Out
Power outages are most commonly caused by bad weather, trees contacting electric lines or equipment, motor vehicle accidents affecting electric equipment or facilities, equipment failure, or damage done by animals. Also. faulty wiring and equipment within your building can cause a localized power outage.
How Tillamook PUD Responds to the Report of a Power Outage
Tillamook PUD becomes aware of an outage if power is lost at a substation, a main line into a substation, or if a customer calls to tell us. Once Tillamook PUD is aware of the outage, a Tillamook PUD employee is immediately sent to patrol the outage area and identify the problem. The employee takes action to isolate the problem and restore power to as many customers as possible. Depending on the problem, a crew may have to be called to work on repairs. Outage lengths vary, depending on the severity of the problem. Turn on your porch light so that our crews can easily see when power has been restored.
Things to Check & Report in a Power Outage
Investigate your home or business to determine if any electrical hazards are present. If there are, notify Tillamook PUD. If you see, hear or smell any signs of an electrical flash or fire, call 911.
Look to see if your neighbors are also without power. Street lights may be the best indication of this. Check your fuse box or service panel to determine if the problem is internal. If you receive service from an overhead line, look to see if the service wire has become damaged or pulled away from the building. Be extremely cautious if you see low hanging wires or wires on the ground. Never approach any wires or touch any surface, tree or object which is in contact with wires. If your lights dim or flicker, immediately turn off your electronic equipment (TV, computer, etc.) and wait until the power is stable to turn them back on.
Tips for Dealing with a Power Outage
If the outage lasts more than 45 minutes, turn off heating and cooling appliances until after power has been restored for some time. This will help avoid overload from excessive demand typically experienced in the first few minutes after power has been restored. In the cold months close drapes, doors and windows to save heat; isolate a warm room or fireplace-heated room in the house. Keep refrigerators and freezers closed to retain cooling. Most modern refrigerators will maintain adequate cooling for over six hours if doors are not opened. Keep flashlights with fresh batteries in a convenient place. Don’t use candles, since they can cause a fire! Keep all emergency phone numbers accessible by the phone.
TSDS – The Systematic Approach To Restoring Electric Service
When a major power outage occurs, restoring electric service is often a complicated process. Damage to the utility’s electric distribution system that is caused by wind, ice, lighting, trees or other severe weather conditions usually is not isolated to one specific area. It usually affects several different locations.
Under these conditions, Tillamook PUD’s primary objective is to get the power back on for everyone in the most systematic, efficient and safe manner. That’s why we use the TSDS system:
(T) Transmission lines,
(D) Distribution Lines
(S) Service Lines.
When a wide-spread power outage occurs, the first location that service crews check is the substation. The substation is the source from which all power is distributed. Service crews then start working their way out along the main distribution lines, or “feeders.” These main feeders are repaired first, followed by the lines serving groups of homes, and finally repairs at individual homes are made. As shown below, if House #3 has no electricity, by repairing the main line first, many more homes would have their electricity restored quickly.
Remember, don’t wait for a neighbor to report a power outage. If you are aware of an outage, don’t hesitate…please call Tillamook PUD at 1-800-422-2535.