Photo by David Rauzi
This downed line on Highway 7 north of Grangeville was charged and sparking in the snow.
As of Tuesday, January 17, 2017
GRANGEVILLE Power was disrupted to 75 customers of Idaho County Light and Power Cooperative last Thursday evening, Jan. 12, when a power line broke along Highway 7.
The incident was reported just before 9 p.m., and crews with Grangeville Rural Fire Department and the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched near Canyon Road. According to Max Beach, ICLP general manager, the line was believed to have broken at the insulator, causing it to drop into the snow
“This can happen for several reasons,” Beach said. “Most of time, the vibration due to the wind, and plus the fact that it was cold puts extra strain on the wire and the ties that hold them in the insulator. This does not happen very often.”
In this instance, the line did not go out, he said, because the snow acted as an insulator so the power could not go to ground.
“The most important thing here is that everyone stays away from any downed line,” Beach said, “and don’t ever think that it is dead. Consider every line energized until it is repaired.”
The initial breakage disrupted power to 44 customers in the Highway 7 area, expanding to 75 when ICLP crews de-energized the line for repairs.