Early AM Crash Knocks Out Power to Thousands

Pacific Power workers Thursday morning remove a power pole from the edge of the Henley Complex near the Highway 39 intersection with Henley Road. The driver, Michael Lloyd Waver, 64, Klamath Falls was traveling north on Highway 39 when he lost control of his vehicle striking the power pole and fence. Photo by Kiran Malakar/KCSD.

Pacific Power workers Thursday morning remove a power pole from the edge of the Henley Complex near the Highway 39 intersection with Henley Road. The driver, Michael Lloyd Waver, 64, Klamath Falls was traveling north on Highway 39 when he lost control of his vehicle striking the power pole and fence. Photo by Kiran Malakar/KCSD.

About 4:00 AM this morning, January 10, 2019, a traffic crash on Highway 39 near the Henley School Complex knocked out power to an estimated 5,500 customers.

According to the Oregon State Police; Michael Lloyd Waver, 64 of Klamath Falls was traveling north on Highway 39 near Henley Road when the vehicle drove off the east shoulder of the roadway. The vehicle struck a power pole, shearing it at the ground. The vehicle also damaged about one-hundred feet of chain link fencing. Following the crash, Waver showed signs of meth psychosis and was unable to perform a field sobriety test. Waver was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center for possible injury and further testing. Results of the testing are not available.

“The crash impacted a 69kV power pole,” says Todd Andres, Regional Business Manager for Pacific Power.  “A smaller transmission line used to serve an area. To put this in perspective, the line you see in most neighborhoods would be a 12kV distribution line. Bottom line, they hit a bigger line in our system and this is why it impacted the number of customers it did.”

Due to the power outage the Henley Complex [Henley Elementary, Henley Middle, Henley High, Klamath County Transition Program and Falcon Heights] was closed for school today.

Henley High School with reopen this afternoon for scheduled after-school activities and sports practices. Henley Middle School has canceled today’s after school activities and practices.

All Henley Complex Schools will re-open and operate on a normal schedule tomorrow.

Power was restored to all customers the area around 10:30am.

“A majority of these customers were restored in the first 90 minutes of the outage,” says Andres. “As of about 2 minutes ago [10:30 am], we have now restored power to all impacted customers.”