Garkane Energy customers in northern Arizona, and Kane and Garfield Counties experienced power outages Monday night and early Tuesday morning, December 7 and 8, 2009, due to heavy wet snow in the south, which blanketed the area.

 Power was off from Buckskin to Paria, including everything east of Paria (Big Water and Church Wells) during parts of the night. The Buckskin area received almost 20 inches of snow. Power was also off multiple times during the night from Henrieville to Escalante, due to snow load on the lines.

Other areas in Kane County experienced outages during the night due to a pole fire in Kanab and a toppled tree in Orderville.

The snow also created problems with the communication systems and therefore made it difficult for us to communicate with substations.

“We received some much needed moisture from a very strong, wet storm, which we are very thankful for.  However, anytime we receive a southern storm, snow tends to build up on our lines and conductors, resulting in power outages,” stated Carl Albrecht, Garkane’s General Manager.

There were small isolated outages Tuesday morning, but crews worked on them and they were back on line quickly.  As mentioned above, heavy wet snows in the Kane County area affected our transmission system out of Glen Canyon Dam and into Garfield County, up to Cottonwood Wash and from Henrieville to Escalante.  These outages were compounded by communications problems as well.

Battling miserable conditions at times, Garkane’s crews worked through the night and into the morning to locate and fix the various problems. “We commend our crews for enduring difficult conditions in order to restore power to our customers,” stated Albrecht.  “We appreciate their efforts, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience power outages cause.”  

“It is Garkane’s goal to provide reliable power to all our customers. We are in the business of providing low cost, reliable power.  We take this responsibility very seriously, said Albrecht. “Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances, such as the extreme weather conditions witnessed last night and this morning, make it difficult to guarantee uninterrupted power. We are subject to Mother Nature’s forces. This is one factor we simply cannot control. We appreciate your patience and support and we will do everything we can to keep power flowing, Albrecht added.”

 With the winter season heavily upon us and more snow in the forecast, Garkane reminds its customers to plan ahead for weather-related power outages. Choose an easily accessible closet or cupboard for an emergency supply of flashlights, batteries, blankets, and other needed items.