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Pacific Power says its crew caused east Bend outage


(Update: Power restored; Pacific Power says its crew caused outage installing a power pole)

A Pacific Power crew digging to set a new power pole in place east of Bend caused the region’s fourth power outage in a day Friday morning, knocking out service to nearly 2,500 customers for less than 20 minutes, the utility said.

Pacific Power spokesman Bob Gravely said, “Apparently we were doing some digging to set a new power pole and affected a line,” but they were able to quickly restore service.

Earlier, the utility’s Oregon outage map showed the outage was reported at 9:48 a.m., east of Bend and south of Highway 20 between Hamby and Erickson roads, and affected 2,465 customers. The utility initially had said it could take until 1 p.m. to restore service.

Police reported the traffic signals were out at the busy intersection of Highway 20 and Northeast 27th Street, much as they were during another outage Thursday morning.

About 140 Pacific Power customers in downtown Bend lost power for about three hours Thursday afternoon and evening in the region’s second animal-related power outage of the day and third overall.

Gravely said the sound heard around 3:15 pm. that some people in the area thought was a blown transformer actually turned out to be an animal, possibly a squirrel, that got into a lightning arrestor on a line.

“They had to patrol the line from one protective device to another to find it,” Gravely said — a bigger challenge after dark.

The power was restored around 6:45 p.m., he said.

Area residents and visitors said the outage included the DoubleTree and Oxford hotels and nearby businesses.

Hours earlier, a goose hit a major transmission line over the Deschutes River west of Redmond, knocking out service to nearly 5,400 Central Electric Cooperative members for nearly an hour, officials said.

The outage affecting 5,355 members began about 12:45 p.m. and repairs were completed and service restored by 1:40 p.m., said Jeff Beaman, the co-op’s member services director.

The goose flew into a line feeding four CEC substations from the Bonneville Power Administration’s Redmond substation, Beaman said.

Beaman said crews reported a large goose flew into an overhead transmission line that crosses the Deschutes just below the Eagle Crest Resort condominiums, “causing the phases to slap together, then causing the (circuit) breaker to operate at the BPA substation.”

“The goose did not survive,” he added.

On the utility’s outage center page , it said areas affected were around Redmond, south to the north side of Bend (primarily west of Highway 97) and the Tumalo area and west toward Sisters, the cooperative said.

“We thank our members for their patience as crews work to get power on as quickly and safely as possible,” the statement said.

Earlier Thursday, a​​​​ blown fuse knocked out power to nearly 400 homes and businesses on Bend’s Eastside for about four hours Thursday morning – but it could have been worse.

The outage began around 7:15 a.m. near Highway 20 and Northeast 27th Street. Power was restored at 10:19 a.m., said Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt.

The problem initially was believed to be a blown underground fuse. As a result, the utility had estimated on its online outage map that it could take until 2:30 p.m. to make repairs and restore service.

That would have left businesses such as Worthy Brewing in the dark and in their case, unable to open for business for the busy lunch hour crowd.

But Gauntt said the blown fuse was above-ground, not underground, and thus was able to be resolved more quickly.

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