Priorities When Restoring Power

A step-by-step guide to how Tillamook PUD sets priorities

Restoring power after an outage is a complex job. It involves more than simply throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line. The goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of people in the shortest time possible.

If you lose power, report the outage to Tillamook PUD, and please be patient when calling. Because so many people can be affected by an outage, phone lines may be busy.

  1. Transmission towers and lines supply power to one or more substations. These lines fail less often, but they can be damaged by strong winds or falling trees. Thousands of people can be served by one high-voltage transmission line, so if there is damage here, it gets attention first.
  2. Tillamook PUD has nine local distribution substations. A problem here could be caused by a failure in the transmission system supplying the substation. If the problem can be corrected at the substation level, power may be restored to a large number of people.
  3. If the problem cannot be isolated at the substation, main distribution supply lines are checked. These lines carry electricity away from the substation to a group of customers, such as a town or a housing development. When power is restored at this stage, all customers served by this supply line could see the lights come on – as long as there is no problem farther down the line.
  4. Secondary distribution or “tap” lines carry power from the main lines to neighborhoods, farms and businesses. Line crews fix these outages based on restoring service to the greatest number of customers at a time.
  5. Sometimes, damage will occur on the service line between your house and the transformer on the nearby pole. This can explain why you have no power, and your neighbor does. If this is the case, you must notify Tillamook PUD you have an outage so a service crew can repair it. Many times, customers’ equipment can be damaged when trees tear services down. Customers will need to hire an electrician to repair the equipment before power can be restored. Tillamook PUD attempts to notify customers when their equipment is damaged.