High winds cause major outages, damages in Columbia


    <p>Columbia Water and Light Spokesperson, Lissie Wade said the weather has been a very trying time for crews and they have seen increased numbers of outages. (Kyreon Lee/KRCG 13){/p}

    From flags whipping rapidly, to trees blowing over, to falling street signs, all is a result of high winds on Thursday.

    As of Thursday afternoon, 26 customers with Columbia Water and Light were without power. However, that number reached 150 on Thursday. This comes right after severe damage to snapped power lines on Wednesday, leaving more than 1,200 customers without power.

    Columbia Water and Light Spokesperson, Lissie Wade said the weather has been a very trying time for crews and they have seen increased numbers of outages.

    "This recently has been the next largest outage experience we've had this year and this is because the wind has been so fast and they have been knocking down some of our trees and some of our power lines or even our poles," Wade said.

    Wade said power line poles are very sturdy and hardly need replacements, but the weather has made replacements come around more often.

    "When we go out and do our inspections and even when we have these outages and large weather events, we periodically inspect them and so if we notice a lot of wear or think there's a chance it could easily break, we replace them," she said.

    To avoid more damage being done, forestry crews were out on Thursday trimming down trees close to power line poles.

    "Sometimes we have to cut branches and limbs to make sure we have a good clearance for our power lines. It also helps with these winter storm events or wind events take place because there's less trees to fall onto the lines or onto the poles," Wade said.

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