Pair of power outages hit Bend's Eastside in cold

Central Electric reports record 'peak load'

BEND, Ore. - About 35 Central Electric Cooperative members at a southeast Bend mobile home park lost power for up to eight hours Sunday night on a second night of sub-zero temperatures -- the second outage of the day on Bend's Eastside..

Spokesman Jeff Beaman said Monday the cause of the outage at Country Sunset Mobile Estates, 61445 SE 27th Street, was an overloaded switch that failed due to heavy demand. He also noted that CEC set a record "peak load" of electricity usage on Sunday morning.

At 7:40 a.m. Sunday, utility's peak load reached 253.5 megawatts, topping the previous record of 242.3 megawatts, set in December 2009.

Beaman said later Monday the lengthy outage was in part because, when its very cold, power sometimes must be restored gradually, or the system can overload, damaging equipment and making for an even longer outage.

"It's called 'cold loading,' he said.

One resident said power went out around 8:30 p.m. and did not come back on until about 12:30 a.m. Monday, after the temperature in their home had dropped to 55 degrees.

Earlier, blown fuses knocked out power to about 400 Pacific Power customers in northeast Bend for several hours on Sunday – something always unwanted, but especially a problem in the area's very cold temperatures.

The first outage was reported shortly before 10 a.m. and was fixed by about 11:30 a.m., said utility spokesman Tom Gauntt. But another outage began around 12:50 p.m., and the utility had estimated it could take until 3 p.m. to get everyone's power restored.

"Something is blowing fuses," Gauntt said, though it wasn't clear if the issue was weather-related.

Most had their power back by 3 p.m., but 150 did not, and the utility's update said it could take until 7 p.m. to fully restore service. However, all were restored by 4 p.m., Gauntt said.

The outage was not large enough to make the 500-customer list of Oregon outages at

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