Thousands of Centralia residents went without power for about an hour Friday afternoon due to an outage affecting customers in the areas of Harrison Avenue, Johnson Road and Reynolds Avenue. Cooks Hill Road, Big Hanaford Road and Little Hanaford Road were also affected, snarling traffic on city streets.
All four Centralia City Light substations went offline after losing their power source connection to Bonneville Power Administration lines Friday afternoon. An outage map maintained by the Lewis County Public Utility District showed 1338 customers affected by the power outage as of 3:32 p.m. — all in the Centralia-Rochester region of service.
Kevin Wingert, spokesperson for the Bonneville Power Administration, said dispatchers reported an equipment failure originating at the Fords Prairie substation operated by Centralia City Light that caused an automatic circuit break at the BPA Chehalis substation.
Centralia City Light General Manager M.L. Norton said workers were bringing their substation online after months of renovations, including the installation of a new transformer, when the failure occurred. Power was restored to all affected areas before 4 p.m.
Providence Centralia Hospital lost its main power source for about 45 minutes, according to communications manager Chris Thomas. Backup generators kicked on immediately to power critical areas. Three surgeries being prepped were postponed during the outage, while surgeons completed one that was in progress.
Centralia School District bus routes may be delayed, according to the district’s social media account.