UPDATED: Substation Outage Cuts Power to West Centralia, Including High School


About 1,700 Centralia City Light customers on the west side of town experienced an early-morning outage at 7:20 a.m Thursday when protective devices activated at the Fords Prairie substation. Centralia High School and Fords Prairie Elementary School were among those that lost power, though the outage is not expected to impact the school day.

“What we’re doing is moving the (power) load to other substations so we can restore power and schools can go on,” said M.L. Norton, general manager of Centralia City Light. “Our crews were immediately out at Fords Prairie, because we were doing morning system checks when it happened. We’re not sure what the cause is, but we have the right people in the right places to figure it out.”

Norton said at 8:10 a.m. that it shouldn’t take long to restore power to the area, though he wasn’t sure how long it would take to diagnose and fix the issue at the substation in question. He was confident enough to contact the Centralia School District to assure them they wouldn’t need to postpone or cancel classes.

Nearly half of the affected customers had their power back about an hour after it went out. All affected customers had power restored by 8:55 a.m.. The cause of the outage is still under investigation.