Winds Batter Longbranch, Crews Work Overnight Restoring Power

Peninsula Light Company crews working through the night fixing damaged power poles and downed lines. A crew working on a pole just north of 76th Street KPS along the Key Peninsula Highway.
Peninsula Light Company crews working through the night fixing damaged power poles and downed lines. A crew working on a pole just north of 76th Street KPS along the Key Peninsula Highway.

Work continued through the night for Peninsula Light Company crews as 22 mile per hour winds battered the Key Peninsula, snapping large branches off trees and downing power lines.

It was clear but cold — the low temperature around 29 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

I passed a crew working on a pole just north of 76th Street KPS along the Key Peninsula Highway on my drive home.

The power had been restored to Herron Island and Longbranch earlier in the afternoon, but crews continued scrambling to different locations as more calls came in for downed power lines.

At 6 p.m. PenLight reports: “Vaughn, Lackey Rd. KPN Jackson Lake outage: 729 customers.”

The power company’s Facebook feed read like a tour of the Peninsula.

At 5:15 p.m.: “County Line/118th Ave outage has been repaired and power restored. Crew on the way to 38th/Olson Dr.”

At 5:15 p.m.: “Crew removing tree from power line on North Heron Rd.”

At 6:15 p.m.: “Palmer Lake has been restored. Crew moving to Tiedman Rd KPS. New outages reported in Midway area of Gig Harbor. 560 customers out.”

Calls have been coming in fast and furious, the power company can barely keep up.

“We are aware of the Olson Drive/38th Ave area outage near Goodman MS,” a PenLight post says at 5 p.m. “Big tree in wires. About 200 (homes) out. Will send crew when one’s available.”

At 7 p.m. Purdy went out, leaving 890 homes without power. Up on Peacock Hill, another 1,168 homes lost electricity; 538 homes in Vaughn darkened. The cause of the outages, according to PenLight, trees and branches falling on power lines.

PenLight crews were visible up and down the highway — lights flashing, waiting for the next call.

“Crew patrolling Key Pen. Hwy and Lackey Rd. seeking cause of 735 customer outage,” a post at 7 p.m. read.

It’s going to be a long night.

Be safe Longbranch. Good night.

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