Transmission line down; Methow Valley without power

— Fire has knocked out the Loup Loup transmission line, leaving most of the Methow Valley without electricity.

“We have no estimate of power restoration to this area,” Okanogan County Public Utility District General Manager John Grubich said.

The line went down about 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Crews are assessing the extent of damage to the line, Grubich said.

Because of continued wind-driven fire activity, initial assessments of the transmission line from Okanogan to Twisp indicate that an existing transmission structure is about to fail, causing a power outage to Malott substation customers.

The Loup Loup line outage affects around 3,300 PUD utility district customers and another 3,200 customers of the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative. Electricity for the co-op is carried on the Loup line.

Last summer the line was down for eight days during the Carlton Complex fire. That fire damaged or destroyed 241 miles of distribution line, necessitating 1,005 new poles, 59 miles of transmission line and 106 poles, 60 miles of fiber optic cable and 12 wireless access points, the utility said.

Damage from the current fires is not yet known.

Crews have been working around the clock to keep downed lines and burnt poles off roads, repair damage and keep power on.


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