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

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Power outage Friday blamed on flooding

Heiden View blacked out until early morning Saturday


Photo courtesy CVEA

The Lowe River changed path Friday, causing a critical power line between Valdez and the Copper Basin, known as Structure 38-7, to teeter down. The resulting outage hit all consumers between the Heiden View Subdivision and the Copper Basin.

The high waters plaguing developed areas around the Lowe River destroyed a Copper Valley Electric Association transmission line late Friday night, causing a power outage for all customers between the Heiden View subdivision at Mile 19 on the Richardson Highway and all the Copper Basin.

The outage began at 11:45 p.m. according to a CVEA press release.

“Power was restored to the majority of members by 1:05 a.m. and Heiden View at approximately 5:10 a.m. Saturday morning,” CVEA said.

“It was determined the transmission line had been knocked out of service when Structure 38-7, near Heiden View, was destroyed,” the press release issued by CVEA spokeswoman Sharon Crisp said. “ High water, caused by flooding, changed the path of the Lowe River, eroded the land surrounding the structure, caused the structure to collapse, and left the cross-arm remaining in the river.”

Dramatic photos released by the electric cooperative tell the story.

CVEAs diesel plant in Glennallen was used to restore power to Copper Basin customers. A generator is running power at 19 Mile.

“As of Monday morning, the transmission line remains out of service as CVEA crews work to implement a temporary solution to the problem,” Crisp said. “Once the transmission line is back in service, efforts will begin to permanently repair the transmission line.”

Valdez consumers were unaffected by the outage.

The need to crank up diesel generators is likely to increase electrical cost to consumers in the affected area.

Photo courtesy CVEA

Raging waters are blamed for the Friday’s power outage that left Copper Basin and Heiden View consumers in the dark.

The combined published rates for fuel, generation and transmission for August was .1073 cents per kilowatt hour, with electricity supplied by the Solomon Gulch Hydro plant. Electricity generated by diesel generators costs more. In March, 2013, CVEA customers paid .3399 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity, which was reduced to .2685 cents after the heat sales credit from the cogeneration plant at Petro Star was subtracted.

The cogeneration plant is not currently in operation, so no fuel credits for consumers are available. No word was available from CVEA at press time regarding the cost of fuel customers will pay for electricity generated by diesel.


“Power was restored to the majority of members by 1:05 a.m. and Heiden View at approximately 5:10 a.m. Saturday morning,” CVEA said.


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