Power outage leads to car crashes in Hillsboro

Power outage leads to car crashes in Hillsboro

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 7 at 2:26 PM

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- A large power outage not only affected around 8,000 customers in Washington County Monday, it caused traffic lights to go dark in a busy Hillsboro intersection and led to several crashes.

"Now It's made me late for work. It's obviously shut down traffic for everybody else," said driver Mark Wignall, whose SUV was hit. "It's just a good reminder that when the lights are out, it's supposed to be like a stop sign."

Portland General Electric officials think a squirrel caused the outage when it came in contact with equipment at a substation. See outage list

Power was restored around 10 a.m., but before that, confused drivers crashed along 185th Avenue, between Evergreen and Cornell, where a traffic light was out.

Drivers were supposed to treat the intersections like a four-way stop during an outage, but some did not. Wignall's SUV was T-boned by an oncoming vehicle and a sheriff's patrol car was also involved in a minor crash. No major injuries were reported.

More: Patrol car hit in crash during power outage

 

A similar outage last week in the same spot was also blamed on a squirrel.

More: Squirrel blamed for Wash. Co. power outage

"It turns out squirrels will strike the same place twice," PGE spokesman Steve Corson said Monday morning. "That's pretty frustrating for the customers there."

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