Fire takes upper island power

Cornet Bay residents and those commuting off-island Friday may have felt in the dark as to why the power went out near Deception Pass on a wet but relatively calm morning.

At about 9 a.m., power went out from Troxell Road north to Deception Pass, and a caller reported a telephone pole’s wires sparking on Old Cornet Bay Road and Highway 20.

Gunnar Loveng, who works for Puget Sound Energy, said when he arrived, a branch had already caught fire from the sparks. He said the wires started sparking because of the branches’ contact with them.

“It was a good size fire,” Loveng said. “Big enough to take out a 100 amp fuse.”

A line fuse on Troxell Road opened in order to stop the flow of electricity to the sparking wires. Loveng said the system is built to shut down when there is a malfunction, as a safety precaution.

He said the line fuse opens to signal from which point the power is out. This enables power workers to quickly locate the power outage area.

Loveng said for this particular outage, the Cornet Bay area, along Highway 20 and Deception Pass State Park had no power for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Henk Fikkenga, a park ranger for the Cornet Bay Residents Group Camp, said he had no power for about an hour but the power outage didn’t inconvenience him much.

Those at Soundview Shopper, however, felt a little more inconvenienced by the hour-long outage because they had to close the store down.

Kari Hamilton, the store manager, said the power went out after the store had already opened, and because of electric cash registers the store has, clerks couldn’t make any sales or transactions. So, they had to close the store doors until the power came back on, which fortunately didn’t take very long.

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