Copper theft causes 8-hour power outage near Tri-Cities
Copper theft March 28 Wallula, WA. Police are looking for the copper thieves who caused 1,000 customers to lose power for eight hours.
A Pacific Power lineman noticed a gate lock sawed through at a substation on Dodd Road in Wallula, according to Pacific Power.
Inside the substation all the copper grounding wire had been ripped out. The damage is estimated at $50,000.To safely replace the grounding wire, a crew shut off power and worked for nearly eight hours. Without grounding wire, a substation is unsafe to work in.
The theft occurred March 28, with a second theft April 7 to the north at the Pacific Power substation off Highway 12. Less damage was reported, with no repair estimate yet available. No power outage was required for repairs.
“Stealing wire creates an unnecessary burden on our customers and we are taking aggressive action to stop it,” said Bill Clemens Pacific Power’s regional business manager. “Removing wire put our crews at risk as they go about their work on the local power grid, and add expense to the system at a time we’re working to reduce cost and minimize any future rate increases.
Resulting outages inconvenience our customers, and the thieves themselves are in mortal danger as they perform these criminal acts.”
Content by tri-cityherald.com
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