Wind knocks power line down on Bay Street

Traffic was detoured off Bay Street Thursday morning after a line was knocked off a power pole in front of Port Orchard City Hall, Puget Sound Energy reported.

An agency spokeswoman said that a “wire was down at 555 Bay Street” and as of 11 a.m. crews were working to restore it. Full restoration was estimated to be completed at 1:30 p.m.

Public Works Director Mark Dorsey said the wire was not a power line but in fact a tension line, which he said holds the poles together.

Doresy said strong winds this morning likely knocked the line down, and that fortunately a Public Works employee saw it fall.

“She saw and heard it pop just outside her window,” Dorsey said, explaining that Public Works supervisor Jay Cookson was still at City Hall at the time and headed down to investigate.

“Our lights (at City Hall) flickered, so we knew something was shorting or grounding,” Dorsey said, adding that the Port Orchard Police Department began blocking the area off after the line fell and detoured traffic up Kitsap Street and Sidney Avenue.

Dorsey said power was knocked out completely to City Hall early Tuesday morning.

“All the power was out downtown, but that was a regional outage,” he said.

Puget Sound Energy confirmed that a fallen tree limb caused an outage in the Port Orchard area at 6:30 a.m., and that power was restored at 8:08 a.m.

In the meantime, Dorsey said an unusually windy and rainy August is wreaking havoc on planned road projects, both by the city and the state.

Typically, August is the month crews can count on to be dry, he said, however the recent heavy rains have delayed both the Washington State Department of Transportation’s paving of State-Route 166 and planned work on the sinkhole near the Bethel Avenue roundabout.

“We’re still moving ahead, but we’ve had to work around the weather,” Dorsey said.

Crews are still working downtown, he said, as the contractor hired to put in new traffic lights at Bay Street and Sidney Avenue had crews working this week.

“The good news is, they will probably be able to finish their work before the paving is done now,” he said, explaining that city crews have been working to install conduits underground before the pavers reached downtown.

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