Falling limb leaves SE homes and businesses in the dark

Here’s why SE Holgate Boulevard was blocked to traffic on a busy Saturday; and, why some homes and businesses went dark …

Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 11 blocks SE Holgate Boulevard, after a power line falls across the street.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“Is there a fire?” asked a pedestrian looking west down SE Holgate Boulevard from SE 82nd Avenue.

“Was there a wreck?” was the query of a driver, puzzling over why the street was closed to traffic at about 1:00 p.m. on October 6.

It turns out, the street was closed for about an hour because part of a tree fell across Portland General Electric (PGE) power lines near the substation on SE 80th Avenue.

Because a potentially-energized electrical line was down, and draped across vehicles in the driveway of a home and across SE Holgate Boulevard, Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 11 parked crosswise in the street to block the road – and Portland Police Bureau district officers shut down the street to traffic.

This PGE “Eagle” rig – a one-person truck, sent to assess an outage situation – arrives on-scene.

“Customers reported that they heard a ‘bang’ before the power went out,” PGE spokesman Steve Corson told East Portland News.

“The outage occurred at 1:07 p.m.,” Corson said, “and, three minutes later, crews were rolling toward the site. It affected 258 customers.”

Within hours, the line was reconnected. No one was injured, and no property damage was reported from the incident, but traffic was disrupted on and near Holgate Boulevard.

Behind the fire engine, more PGE crews arrive to start repair on the downed power line.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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