WASH, Snohomish - Vandals Shoot Out Power Line Insulators, BPA Offers Up to $1,000 for Info

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Title: Vandals Shoot Out Power Line Insulators BPA Offers Up to $1,000 for Information

Story Filed: Wednesday, April 05, 2000 8:11 PM EST

SNOHOMISH, Wash., Apr 5, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Bonneville Power Administration is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals who caused damage to a power line located about five miles west of Snohomish. The damage to the pole and potential loss of revenue due to the outage is estimated at $15,000.

Vandals shot out insulators on BPA's Snohomish-Beverly Park 115,000-volt line on April 1, causing one high-voltage transmission line to fall into another, resulting in a significant power outage on the affected line. BPA's transmission line maintenance crews repaired several insulators.

Service was lost to the Beverly Park Substation, which is operated by Puget Sound Energy, due to the vandalism.

"Not only are these senseless acts of vandalism costly, but they are also dangerous," reported Mike Berg, security specialist for BPA. "Anyone foolish enough to shoot at power lines is taking a huge risk. Downed lines can cause ground voltages that can kill or seriously injure the vandals themselves."

Vandalism accounts for millions of dollars in damage to the Northwest power system each year. These costs get passed on to customers and ratepayers. Above and beyond these monetary costs and inconveniences are the possible disruption of essential services -- fire departments, police and ambulance -- that depend on reliable electric service.

Since 1994, BPA's Crime Witness Program has generated hundreds of tips resulting in dozens of arrests and thousands of dollars of recovered property, and most importantly, deterrence of future crime.

In 1999, a total of 202 insulator units were replaced, representing an 88 percent decrease from the historic average of 1,723 units replaced each year prior to the institution of the program. Cumulative savings since the program began totals more than $2,000,000. Informants can call toll free 800-437-2744. The identity of informants is kept strictly confidential.

SOURCE Bonneville Power Administration

(C) 2000 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.


CONTACT: Mike Berg of Bonneville Power Administration, 503-230-4274 KEYWORD: Washington



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