Wind creates problems across Clark County
Strong winds stirred up trouble throughout Clark County on Thursday, Sept. 11, downing trees, causing power outages and fanning wildland fires.By Thursday evening, Clark Public Utilities had 35 outages throughout the day that affected 13,450 customers. The most extensive outage damaged the Burton substation, causing nearly 4,500 customers to be without power Thursday morning in the Cascade Park and Orchards areas, according to spokeswoman Erica Erland. Several schools were temporarily without power, including Pioneer, Endeavor and Marrion elementary schools, Frontier Middle School and the Clark County Skills Center, according to Evergreen Public Schools. Multiple street lights in the area were also out during the day. Power was restored to most of those customers by 10:15 a.m.Nearly all of the outages were the result of wind, Erland said. The utility spent much of the day coordinating crews to restore power and talking to customers about the outages. Workers went from site to site and discovered several downed phone lines that weren’t affecting power. Winds speeds peaked at 28 mph with gusts up to 38 mph in Vancouver, according to the National Weather Service in Portland. Erland said the utility has seen stronger gusts in the past year, but experienced more problems Thursday with downed trees and limbs. By 5 p.m., only one Clark Public Utilities customer in Amboy was left without power in Clark County. Every mile of power line is visited and trimmed every three years, Erland said, which mitigates the number of outages during particularly windy days. Wildland firesThe windy conditions and low humidity sparked nearly a dozen brush fires throughout the county by Thursday evening. Just after 10 a.m., East County Fire & Rescue went to a brush fire near Milepost 7 along Washougal River Road. The half-acre fire started next to the road and slowly worked its way up a hillside on private property, said Capt. Wes Long. Clark County Fire District 3 quickly put out a grass fire Thursday morning in the area of 127th Circle and 192nd Ave. They reminded residents that a burn ban is in effect through Oct. 1.