Power failure blacks out Milton-Freewater, part of College Place

Power was still off in Milton-Freewater in late morning after the failure this morning.

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A widespread power failure blacked out Milton-Freewater, areas of College Place and many rural residences this morning.

Power to areas in College Place and south of town served by Columbia Rural Electric Association went out at about 9:15 a.m., but "most everyone was back on by about 9:35 a.m.," said Scott Peters, manager of marketing and member services.

Milton-Freewater lost power at 9 a.m., said Mike Charlo, superintendent of the city's electric utility. Power was restored at 11 a.m. today.

Charlo said the cause was a Bonneville Power Administration substation going off line for scheduled maintenance. Although an alternate feed had been set up to provide power, a malfunction in the relay system caused the power to fail.

About 4,600 customers in Milton-Freewater were affected and another 725 Columbia REA members were blacked out.

No Pacific Power customers were affected, said utility spokesman Tom Gauntt.

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