Heavy rain and wind caused electricity shortages Sept. 17 along the coast of southern Oregon and northern California.
Del Norte County experienced a couple of brief power outages Tuesday afternoon and evening, the largest of which shut down power at Pelican Bay State Prison, which has a backup generator.
The power went out at 4:50 p.m. and was fully restored by 7:30 p.m., said Tom Gauntt, a spokesman for Pacific Power. He said a tree had hit a power transmission line, which did not break the line but did disrupt electricity.
“It wasn’t damaging the lines … but if they get connected in that way, it just shorts out the system,” Gauntt said.
Crescent City residents experienced a shorter power outage that day, from 3-3:30 p.m., also caused by a falling tree hitting a power line.
After a particularly dry summer, the amount of rain received Tuesday laid heavily on the trees, said Gauntt, causing them to lean or fall onto power lines. And if the branches are saturated, he said, it doesn’t take much wind to force then onto the lines, shorting out power.
Meanwhile, a stretch from Gold Beach north to the California border lost power on Tuesday afternoon from 3:30-6:30 p.m., causing an outage for 11,000 Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative customers.
The outages totaled at least four this past week, after 1,400 Crescent City customers of Pacific Power were without power Sept. 12 from 2:30-6 p.m. when a limb struck a power line and sparked a small fire on a patch of dry grass near downtown.