Phone and Power Updates from the recent Storm.

UPDATE: Power has been restored. They are still working on the phones.

Phone (as of 2pm Wednesday): Update from one of the local Century Link field technicians. One of the fibers that provides a dial tone to our area was taken down in this storm. It’s a bigger deal than most issues to fix but since it’s fiber, the technicians were able to estimate where the issue is (13 miles above Enumclaw). People are on the way there now to pinpoint the problem physically, and then they’ll get specialized service up to the site for the repair. My contact estimated 2-3 days as the worst case scenario for regular phone/Internet to be restored “if it’s not underwater up there.” (Unfortunately I just found out some phone and power lines are in the river at MP 38 and the geography sounds as if it may be the same issue.) He has offered to update me if he gets new information. In the meantime, Century Link has some way of routing all 911 calls to the Forest Service who will notify whatever agency is needed. We talked about the urgency of restoring service for both local businesses and emergency communication and he will underscore those points with the folks who set priorities.

Power (as of 10am today): The 55kV transmission line was dropped in to the White River by a tree that fell at “Sniper’s Corner” (where the Hancock bridge washed out a few years ago).  There is no significant damage to the structures on either side of the crossing (this is GREAT news).  Minutes ago, crews were successful getting a pull rope across the river, which is a key component to getting the transmission conductors pulled across and reattached to the poles.  Once we complete repairs on the transmission line we will heat up the Greenwater substation.

The two electric distribution circuits out of the Greenwater sub are GWR-13 (feeding Greenwater, Crystal River Ranch, and other areas north of the sub), and GWR-16 (feeding Alta Crystal, WRRA communities, and Crystal).  GWR-13 has VERY minor damage and will be ready to be energized once we get the substation up and running.  The majority of GWR-16 is ready as well.

Field reports indicate that FR 7150 has been completely washed out by Minnehaha Creek (GWR-16 radial).  PSE’s damage assessment team was not able to access PSE’s system beyond this washout, thus the extent of the damage is unknown.  Any damage along this single-phase distribution radial can be isolated, thus the majority of customers on GWR-16 will be energized.

We do not have an estimated time of restoration just yet.  I’ll be sure to provide an update once we receive additional info from our crews.

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