While it may be a distant memory for many members in the Odell and Pine Grove areas, I believe an explanation of the widespread outage on the evening of June 13 is in order.
At approximately 5:45 p.m. on Monday, June 13, power service to the entire Hood River Valley and city of Hood River was lost. Basically, all co-op members and Pacific Power customers north of the Mt. Hood Forest Products mill on Highway 35 were without power.
We learned transmission service to the Bonneville Power Administration Hood River Substation was interrupted due to a piece of broken high-voltage equipment within the substation. Both HREC and Pacific Power rely entirely on the BPA transmission line between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles for bulk power service. Normally, the area can be served from either end, but the Bonneville Dam segment was de-energized for maintenance, leaving a single source from The Dalles.
Once we understood the cause of the outage was related to transmission service, HREC operations staff began preparations to bring power into Odell from the Parkdale Substation. The amount of power deliverable from Parkdale is limited, so staff initially connected those who could most expeditiously be served. Central Odell and the Pine Grove area remained unserved until an emergency transmission source from the BPA Bald Mountain Substation in Washington could be interconnected with the local transmission lines.
Please feel confident the HREC staff pursues safe and feasible opportunities available to restore service to as many members as possible. Sometimes—as in this case—the ultimate solution lies outside our control. Even so, we are persistent in our efforts to determine causes, as well as the party or parties that affect restoration of service. We vigorously encourage prompt action on your behalf.
Please accept our thanks for your patience and understanding during these unfortunate events.
– John Gerstenberger, Manager