What Causes A Power Outage?
WEATHER: Weather is one of the most common reasons we lose power here in the Pacific Northwest. The Kitsap & Olympic Peninsulas, known for their expansive waterfronts and lush forests, are no strangers to power loss. Living on the Puget Sound, which surrounds us with water in almost every direction, makes for a windy Fall & Winter season. The winds on the inner Puget Sound tend to be mild in comparison to the more coastal parts of Jefferson County, such as Neah Bay. But when combined with our Washington rain and the tall evergreen trees that we are known so well for throughout Kitsap, Jefferson, and Clallam counties, you have all the ingredients for a season-long series of power outages.
VEHICLES/ACCIDENTS: Another common cause of power outages in Kitsap and the surrounding Counties is automobile accidents. Sometimes due to negligence, other times purely accidental, and sometimes even unpreventable health issues while driving cause Northwest drivers to veer off of the road and collide with power poles. These impacts can damage or even break a utility pole, causing component failure which often results in a loss of power for the homes and businesses nearby.
EQUIPMENT FAILURE: Equipment failure is also at fault for many power outages. As with anything mechanical, power equipment can malfunction. Transformers blow, equipment ages. Our salty, humid air from the surrounding bodies of water speeds up the deterioration of power equipment, causing more mechanical failure than people tend to experience in areas that are not exposed to saltwater.
PLANNED MAINTENANCE: Power outages are sometimes planned by your local utility company. Though rare, this happens when maintenance and/or upgrades are required. Our local PUD's such as Jefferson County PUD, Clallam County PUD, Puget Sound Energy, and Peninsula Light are quite good at informing us of when these outages will occur. However, even when able to plan, these outages still cost businesses money and can still have detrimental impact on those who are medically dependent on devices that require electricity.
ANIMALS/RODENTS: Animals, particularly of the rodent variety, don't always realize that the power poles aren't the best place to call home. Squirrels are a common sight in the Hood Canal area and are well known to wreak havoc on utility lines. Nesting, chewing, or simply touching components that they probably wish they hadn't, rodents often leave many people without power and many squirrels full of regret.