Two Red Flag Warnings issued by the National Weather Service and affecting EPUD’s service territory ended Saturday night. Although the utility and surrounding communities were braced for wind, we were fortunate to have avoided the extreme conditions that were forecast.
During the Red Flag Warnings, EPUD implemented the first of its System Modification Levels: disabling reclosers. These levels represent different actions that can be taken during extreme weather events depending on various conditions and risk factors. Had the weather conditions warranted further action, the utility could have proceeded to the next level of system “hyper sensitivity” before moving to a Public Safety Power Shutoff, or PSPS. Our goal is always to keep our customers’ power on as long as it’s safe to do so. If a PSPS is necessary, we will always attempt to give adequate warning, although it may not always be possible.
While a Level 1 modification worked for EPUD’s service territory, we recognize some of our neighbor utilities took further steps to reduce wildfire risk. It’s important to remember that each utility’s service area and electrical system is different, and what works for one system may not work for another. Our approaches may vary but we share the same goal: to protect our customers and communities from wildfire.