Pacific Power keeping a spotlight on safety and preparation as e - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pacific Power keeping a spotlight on safety and preparation as eclipse looms for customers

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PATH OF TOTALITY, OR - Rare as they are, solar eclipses are more predictable and easier to prepare for than rogue Pacific storms, events Pacific Power plans for several times a year.

Leading up to the eclipse the morning of Aug. 21, Pacific Power is taking an all hands on deck approach. Nonessential work on the grid has been postponed and employees have been put on call. Equipment and material are pre-positioned and ready for use as needed

"We work with local emergency management groups year around, planning for events that have the potential to disrupt power to our customers," said Curtis Mansfield, vice president of operations. "Wind storms, silver thaws, heat waves all have the potential to cause outages. Our crews are on standby and stationed strategically for the eclipse to make repairs should they become necessary."

Mansfield continued: "Our main concern is being able to get to an outage. Roads may be congested. We are working with local authorities to assure access. Other emergency vehicles will also need to navigate traffic jams and special safety passages will be maintained in many areas."

Pacific Power does not anticipate outage problems due to overcapacity. Full hotel rooms and campgrounds are something the company plans for and there is no reason to believe power supply or equipment issues will surface

Electricity serving Pacific Power's customers comes from a diverse array of resources, so the minor down tick in solar generation will be offset by hydro, wind, and thermal generation -- all capable of providing quick increases in output over the course of the event.

Safety however is top of mind. In the path of totality, many residents are having visitors camped out on their properties over the weekend in preparation for the big event on Monday. Pacific Power urges customers to stay safe:

* If extension cords are being used to supply visitor recreational vehicles, make sure that they are in good repair (no frays) and of sufficient capacity.
* Check your electrical service box to make sure it has the capacity to serve your visitors.
* Make sure that cords run safely to the RV so that they are not tripping or clothes-lining hazards.
* Be aware that the extra usage could cause an increase in your power bill next month. Look for ways to economize before and after.
* Be careful with fire. Use only well maintained fire pits. Obey local fire bans that may be imposed and have water hoses and shovels available.
For more eclipse safety tips go to;