Submitted by Puget Sound Energy
Much like members of a ski patrol canvassing sections of a ski area and assessing conditions, Puget Sound Energy personnel are patrolling power lines and equipment in the mountains to reduce the potential for more power outages.
This winter’s record-breaking snowfall and wet weather on top of saturated ground has resulted in power outages from downed trees that damaged power lines throughout the PSE service area, especially in the mountain passes. A number of lengthy power outages in recent weeks have frustrated customers in these areas and those who have tried to visit our mountain ski areas.
The mountains can be some of the most challenging terrain we have in our service area, and if our crews can’t get in there safely, it can take longer to make repairs and restore power. We also have been faced with avalanche danger and access restrictions requiring extra safety measures and complex response strategies in some areas where we used snow cats to reach damaged equipment.
Recreational areas like The Summit at Snoqualmie have been hit hard by those outages and we know how disappointing that can be – we share the same sentiments because many of us love to ski too.
With sunny skies predicted through this weekend, many of our customers may be thinking about heading up to the mountains, so we want everyone to know that we are committed to keeping the lights on and the lifts running.
Here’s what we are doing:
- Patrolling mountain corridors by ground and by helicopter
- Having available service personnel in the area and ready to respond when needed
- Personnel local to the area who know the terrain and can request extra help quickly
The favorable weather forecast reduces the likelihood of problems occurring and makes it much easier to respond quickly and safely in the event that they do.