Grant PUD effectively restores power following substation explos - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Grant PUD effectively restores power following substation explosion

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EPHRATA, WA - Things are pretty much back to normal in Ephrata tonight, after a transformer failure at a substation yesterday rocked the community, leaving thousands without power.

Reporter Veronica Padilla spoke with people today who witnessed the whole thing happen.

With a flash, then an explosion, 8,000 people in Ephrata, Quincy, and Soap Lake found themselves in the dark.

"We experienced an equipment malfunction in the substation behind us," said Chuck Allen, Public Affairs Officer with Grant PUD. "The Central Ephrata Substation. One of our pieces of equipment in there was malfunctioning, and as a result we had a power outage."

Videos of the bright blue flash and fire from the substation started showing up all over social media, including one from Patricia Riche, who says she first noticed the bright light from the front windows of her home before going to the backyard to see what was going on.

"if we ever had a war, that's pretty close as I would say," Riche said. "The explosion, and then when it exploded and then I saw all the fire come out, everything just like calmed down after that."

Crews with Grant PUD worked for hours to restore power. Most customers had their lights come back on overnight, but a small group of residents had to wait until this afternoon for the power to come back on.

"There were no showers. No TV," said Renae Hirst, who lost power. "No telephones ringing, and all of us were in bed by 8:30." 

The outage also caused a fire at a maintenance building next to the substation. Grant PUD says "no specific cause for the fire has been determined".

Thankfully, no PUD employees or anyone else was hurt. The cause of that transformer failure is unknown but will be under investigation.



EPHRATA, WA – Grant PUD crews working throughout the night and into the early afternoon have restored power to all customers affected by an outage that began at 7:00 p.m. February 15th.  Power was restored at approximately 1:00 p.m.

If customers are still experiencing an outage, they can report it to Grant PUD by calling (800) 216-5226. Please do not dial 911 to report a power outage.

An equipment malfunction in the Central Ephrata Substation caused the outage that affected up to 8,000 customers at its peak in Ephrata, Quincy and Soap Lake. Customers in Soap Lake and Quincy communities were quickly restored about one hour into the outage. The majority of customers in Ephrata were restored around 2:30 a.m. Several hundred Ephrata customers in the Swanson Addition, Oasis Park and Railroad Ave areas, including several business in the southeast section of town, remained without power as crews worked to restore damaged spans of distribution line.

The cause of the substation equipment failure is unknown at this time. No injuries related to the substation equipment failure were reported. With power restored, Grant PUD crew members will work to determine the cause of the equipment failure over the coming days and week.

Along with the damage at the substation, the outage resulted in a fire in a Grant PUD maintenance building adjacent to the substation. The fire was extinguished by firefighters with Ephrata Fire Department and Grant County Fire District No. 3. No specific cause for the fire has been determined.



EPHRATA, WA - Many people were without power after a substation explosion in Ephrata. The two explosions happened around 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

A Grant PUD Spokesperson tells NBC Right Now a transformer failed in the substation, but they don't know why. The Grant County Sheriff's office says the fire spread to a nearby PUD building, but firefighters were able to get it out quickly. No injuries have been reported.

About 8,000 customers were without power in Ephrata, Quincy, and Soap Lake. Grant PUD worked throughout the night to restore power to those customers, and are hoping to have full restoration by 11 Thursday morning.

If customers are experiencing an outage, they can report it to Grant PUD by calling (800) 216-5226.