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UPDATED: Vandalism cited as south Bellingham power outage cause

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Neighborhoods in and around Happy Valley lost power about 4am this morning, March 12th, according to Puget Sound Energy (PSE).

Power outage map as of 5am. Source: Puget Sound Energy

PSE said the outage was initially reported at 3:57am and impacted 1,353 of their customers’ addresses.

As of 5:45am, the number of impacted addresses had been reduced to 439. As of 7:45am, the estimate for them to have their power restored was 11am.

Power outage map as of 6am. Source: Puget Sound Energy

The outage was reported by PSE as having been caused by vandalism.

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PSE Spokesperson Andrew Padula told Whatcom News the following via email.

Once our service crews arrived to the area of Donovan and 21 Street in Bellingham they found that wire was missing. It appears someone caused the line to be de-energized and then proceeded to take down the wire for the copper that it contained.  

Our crews had to replace 150 feet of wire before they could get everyone’s power back on.

We were able to re-route some power while crews were working and get about 914 customers back on around 5:21 a.m. The remaining customers were back on by 9:21 a.m. after all work was completed.

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It is normal protocol, whenever there is vandalism to our equipment, to contact the local authorities.

This is the second time the same area has been hit by vandals for copper wire. The new wire that was replaced is now aluminum and has no copper.

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We ask that if customers see suspicious activity around power lines to please call and report it as soon as possible.

Puget Sound Energy (March 14, 2022)

Bellingham Fire Department had been dispatched to the 2000 block of Wilson Avenue, near the center of the outage area, about 4am due to a report of an unspecified electrical emergency according to the EMS dispatch log service, PulsePoint.


This story was updated March 14th at 12:30pm with information provided by PSE.

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