The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jess Macinko
News Editor 

PUD says it's ready for weather


Depending on the weather, Klickitat County residents who experienced power outages last week should be prepared for more. According to Public Utility District (PUD) General Manager Jim Smith, we’ve actually been lucky so far.

“The system has held up fantastic, given the conditions. We’ve had a few spot outages, but nothing major.”

The weekend saw heavy snowfall, but not the freezing rain that was forecast. Smith attributes the scarcity of outages to lack of ice. “Freezing rain glues snow to the trees. That’s what breaks branches or pulls trees over.”

Strong wind can also be a deciding factor. Without wind, temperatures above freezing can help unload trees of their snowy burden. Add wind, and that snow can become a projectile. A combination of ice, heavy snow and strong wind can knock out equipment in multiple locations, taxing the PUD’s resources and creating extended outages.

But the PUD is ready to address seasonal challenges. “Our off-road vehicles are ready to go; we’re as prepared as we can be.” Smith advises residents to watch the weather. “If you see strong winds, heavy snow around 32 degrees, or ice, prepare for outages.”


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