Portable Substation 01

A portable substation on Highway 99 West near the intersection with SE Bridgeway Avenue. Pacific Power moved the substation from Roseburg to restore power to customers in south Corvallis. 

A representative of Pacific Power said a substation that triggered a power outage to thousands of residents in South Corvallis Sunday and Monday should be fully repaired by late Friday.

The company initially restored power to nearly 4,000 customers who lost power for 15 hours by moving a mobile substation to its Marys River Substation Monday morning, but the mobile substation also failed briefly Monday afternoon.

Ry Schwark, a spokesperson for Pacific Power, said Wednesday that the outage was not connected to a Sunday morning fire at the Hollingsworth & Vose plant located near the substation.

Power initially failed in South Corvallis at around 4:20 p.m. Sunday. The fire started just after 10 a.m. at Hollingsworth & Vose and was extinguished before fire crews even arrived, a Corvallis Fire Department representative said.

“If I could blame someone else for our equipment failing, I would,” Schwark said.

Schwark said the company maintains many substations and thousands of miles of power lines, and sometimes equipment simply fails.

Many affected by the outage contacted the Gazette-Times about their frustrations over the extended loss of power.

Amy Bassett-Williams, manager of the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-Op location in South Corvallis, said the store was forced to throw away $30,000 worth of product because it had no way to keep food at safe temperatures during the outage. However, insurance should cover most of that loss, Bassett-Williams said.

“More than anything, it was heartbreaking to see all of this food go to waste,” she said.

Anthony Rimel covers education and can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.