The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 
 

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Power pole wiped out during high water

Lowe River jumps its banks in flood plain area over the weekend

 

The Lowe River moved its banks about 60 feet just after midnight Sunday morning, causing a power outage after it took out a Copper Valley Electric Association power pole.

Ironically, the pole that was downed was the temporary pole CVEA erected about a year ago after a flood in the same area flooded.

The outage occurred just after 1:00 a.m. according to CVEA spokeswoman Sharon Crisp.

"A power outage ensued affecting all CVEA members from Heiden View to the Copper Basin," she said in a press release issued Monday. "Power was restored to the majority of members by 1:50 a.m. and Heiden View by approximately 2:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon."

CVEA said its crews responded and began patrolling the line to investigate the cause.

"It was determined the transmission line had been knocked out of service when Structure 38-7, near Heiden View, was washed out," the press release said. " High water, caused by flooding from the recent rainfall, eroded approximately 60 feet of the river bank surrounding the structure, causing it to collapse."

Power was restored when CVEA powered up the Glennallen Diesel Plant to supply electricity in the Copper Basin, and used a generator for power at Heiden View.

"CVEA will continue using diesel fuel for power generation in the Copper Basin until the transmission line has been repaired," the press release said. "CVEA is diligently working to develop and implement a solution to the problem."

The Lowe River has caused numerous flooding issues in Valdez for the past several years, especially during periods of heavy rainfall in the fall season.

A temporary roadside dyke installed by DOT around the 6.5 mile area of the Richardson Highway held back the portions of the river that in past years flooded the roadway.

Last year, the water rose to a level that allowed salmon to swim across the highways.

 

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