A strong partnership between neighboring utilities is a benefit to the customers they serve. Last month, the citizens of Aberdeen were the beneficiaries of such a relationship. On December 20th, the City of Aberdeen Public Works Department and the Grays Harbor PUD came together to make repairs to the Fry Creek Pump Station helping avoid potentially damaging flooding to homes and businesses in West Aberdeen caused by high tides and storm runoff. Last week, the Aberdeen City Council recognized the two entities for that cooperation and the impact it had on the community.
“The plan was carried out by public works and PUD crews on very short notice, requiring significant overtime and night work,” said City Councilwoman and Public Works Committee Chair Dee Ann Shaw. “Their prompt and dedicated service made a huge difference.”
“The PUD came together like no agency has ever done for us,” said Aberdeen Public Works Director Rick Sangder. “They were fantastic and the new system actually works better than the old one.”
“It benefits our customers and the community that we have a good relationship and work together,” said PUD Operations Director Steve Easton. “People may not see it, but our crews are working together all the time.”
The Grays Harbor PUD Customers Service office, switchboard and drive-thru will be closing at 4pm on Monday, Dec. 31 to begin year end processing. The office will remain closed on Jan 1 for the New Years Day holiday and will open again on Wednesday, Jan 2 at 8 am. Have a save and Happy New Year.
Businesses looking for a solid working relationship between commerce and utility interests were given a prime example in progress on Tuesday. For the first time in recent memory, the commission boards of the Port of Grays Harbor and the Grays Harbor PUD met in joint session to discuss a pair of economic development opportunities and their potential impact on the county.
“For Grays Harbor to succeed, cooperation between community, business and utility interests is critical,” said PUD Commission President Arie Callaghan. “The two projects that were discussed today at this joint meeting are a great example of what happens when two groups with a shared goal come together.”
The meeting included a report from Sound and Sea Technology on the financial and technical feasibility of landing a transoceanic telecommunication cable in Grays Harbor. The report indicated that the cable project, in conjunction with a Satsop Business Park-based data support center, could be a good fit for Grays Harbor.
“There’s land. There is power. There is potential. Grays Harbor can be a digital port,” said Sound and Sea Technologies Chelsea Meggitt.
The meeting concluded with a report from PUD Engineering Director Schuyler Burkhart on a joint effort by the Port and PUD to increase power capacity at the Satsop Business Park. The two groups are currently working with Grays Harbor County and the Bonneville Power Administration on a system study for a proposal, that when completed would immediately bring a further 40 megawatts of power capacity to Satsop, with room for future capacity growth.
“The cooperation between the Port, PUD, Grays Harbor County and BPA is driving us to a position where we can make Satsop the hub for economic development we all envision it to be,” said Burkhart. “Partnerships and meetings like this one send a positive message about the business climate that exists in Grays Harbor.”
On July 26, 2018, Grays Harbor PUD Customer Service Collector Helen Berglund heard a call for help. On Thursday, her response to that call earned her the Washington Public Utility District Association’s Good Samaritan Award.
“The Washington PUD Association is proud to honor Helen Berglund with the Association’s Good Samaritan Award,” said George Caan, Executive Director of the Washington PUD Association. “Her quick life-saving actions to assist a woman in medical distress are a testament to her caring nature and commitment to serving others.”
Berglund had arrived at the East Grays Harbor County home on the hot July afternoon but after knocking on the door and receiving no response was preparing to return to her vehicle when she heard the sounds of a woman calling for help from inside. Finding the door unlocked. Berglund entered the home, immediately called 911 for emergency assistance and stayed with the woman for over 30 minutes until the ambulance arrived. During that time, Helen provided comfort to the woman, speaking to her, locating her cell phone and attempting to contact family who lived in the area.
“We are very proud of Helen,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward. “Given the woman’s condition, the remote location of the home and the hot weather that followed, I truly believe her actions saved a life and we are thrilled that WPUDA has honored her for the aid she rendered that day.”
The Grays Harbor Public Utility District is notifying customers in Ocean Shores of a planned power outage beginning at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. The outage is expected to last until roughly 4:00 PM on that day and will affect around 30-35 customers.
The outage will impact customers on a four street loop including Pearsall Street NE from Duck Lake Dr NE to Olympic View Ave NE, customers on Olympic View Ave NE from Pearsall Street to Hutton Street, customers on Hutton Street from Duck Lake Dr NE to Olympic View Ave NE, and customers on Duck Lake Dr NE from Hutton Street to Pearsall Street. Customers living on three courts within the loop (Miller, Glover and Hagar Courts) will also be impacted.
During the outage, PUD crews will replace a failing piece of underground equipment, the complete failure of which could impact power to several hundred customers.
In preparation for this outage, customers are advised to take precautions with any electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items. You should leave them disconnected until after the power has been fully restored.
The outage time of six hours is only an estimate and power could be restored at any time as work is completed. Therefore, it is not safe to do electrical work or repairs during that period of time.