When the Lights Go Out
At any given time, severe weather conditions may come upon us. Rain, wind, and snow storms may cause power interruptions for a variety of reasons - ice forming on lines causing them to break, trees breaking and falling through lines, or automobiles skidding off the roads into power poles. When this happens, the power will either go out for a second or two and come back on, or go out completely.
The momentary interruption, or blink, is caused by some sort of electrical damage or potential damage on a circuit. This is referred to as a fault. The main breaker feeding the circuit will open to clear the fault. In a couple of seconds, the breaker will close to test and re-energize the line. If a fault is found again, only the damaged portions should be affected by a complete outage. Although these momentary outages are inconvenient, they prevent widespread outages.
Take these easy steps when the power goes out:
- Check your breakers or fuses. Is your whole house out of power? Are your neighbors out of power?
- Look outside for signs of damage to lines or power poles.
- Call the PUD. Don't assume someone else has called. You may be the only one with a problem. By reporting your outage, you are giving us a "road map" to where the problem is. During working hours, we can be reached at (509) 775-3325. For after-hours outage reports, please call (509) 775-3849. Report your name and address. Describe any problems or sounds you may have heard. Be sure to leave a phone number where you can be reached after power has been restored.
- Trip the breakers to the hot water tank and appliances or equipment that may be damaged during the outage or when the power is restored. Unplug any voltage-sensitive equipment such as computers, microwaves, TV's and VCR's.
- Turn on one inside light switch so that you'll know when power has been restored and one outside light switch so our crew can see that power has been restored.
Be ready with a power outage kit
Power outages are unpleasant but if you plan ahead and always keep emergency items on hand, you can be comfortable until your power is restored. Your power outage kit should include:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Candles and matches
- Battery-powered radio
- Emergency phone numbers
- A telephone connected directly to the phone jack
- First aid kit and prescription medications
- Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothes
- Clean drinking water
- A manual can opener and nonperishable food
- A cooler for storing frequently used foods
- Firewood and kindling
We thank each and every one of our customers for their patience and understanding during these occurrences. For those of you who give words of encouragement and offers of help, we want you to know we truly appreciate it. It's uncomfortable for us in our busy, daily life styles to be without power. We realize it and we thank you for your patience.