High Winds Cause Outages, Accidents


High winds knocked down trees and caused numerous power outages Tuesday evening, while poor visibility was to blame for a five-vehicle accident on Interstate 84 near Stanfield.

According to Umatilla Electric Cooperative, multiple outages affecting UEC and Hermiston Energy Services customers were reported throughout the evening due to winds gusting to 65 mph. Outages were reported in the Ordnance area southwest of Hermiston, in the Butter Creek area, in and around the city of Hermiston, and in the Mission area near Pendleton.

An outage affecting 126 members served by the Ordnance Substation was reported at 4:29 p.m. A Hermiston Butte Substation feeder serving 1,762 customers locked out at 5:48 p.m.

The high winds caused dust storms to severely limit visibility on Interstate 84. The Oregon Department of Transportation reported a multi-vehcile accident involving as many as five vehicles occurred near milepost 192, just east of Stanfield. ODOT closed both eastbound and westbound lanes. The lanes were restored early Wednesday morning, but short delays were still reported.

UEC crews were canvassing the areas Tuesday night to locate the sources of the outages and to restore power. Most UEC and Hermiston Energy Services customers had power restored before 10 p.m.