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PUD announces hiring of new Engineering Manager

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District has filled a key spot on its senior leadership team by hiring Schuyler Burkhart to serve as the District’s Engineering Manager. Burkhart comes to Grays Harbor from Tacoma Power, where he serves as a senior supervisor in the Transmission & Distribution section. His first day with the District will be March 31st.

“This is a great day for the Grays Harbor PUD. The hiring of Schuyler Burkhart is a tremendous addition for the District and for Grays Harbor and finalizes the team that will lead the PUD for the foreseeable future,” said Commission President Russ Skolrood. “Schuyler brings with him a track record of success as both an engineer and a supervisor. I think he is a great fit for Grays Harbor and I can’t wait to begin working with him.”

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Standoff give PUD commissioner hands-on experience in cutting power

These days, many people have two jobs, but not often do they intersect. Certainly not the way they did on Wednesday for Grays Harbor Public Utility District Commissioner Dave Timmons.

In addition to representing District Two on the Grays Harbor PUD Board, Timmons is also the Deputy Police Chief for the City of Aberdeen. On Wednesday morning, Timmons was participating in the response to an armed man barricaded in a home on the 2000 block of Harding Road in South Aberdeen. When law enforcement asked PUD crews to cut power to the home in an attempt to end the standoff, Timmons and PUD Line Superintendent Steve Easton devised a plan to shut the power off to the home, without impacting surrounding homes.

“At first it appeared the only solution was to turn off all the power on Harding Road, which would impact around 350 customers,” Timmons recalled. “I wasn’t really comfortable with impacting that many homes, so Steve came up with a way to cut the power at the pole.”

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PUD power outages down in 2013

ABERDEEN – The Grays Harbor Public Utility District power infrastructure performed admirably in 2013. Working against recent trends, the total number of power outages and total number of customer hours without power were down in 2013, according to a report presented to the PUD commissioners on Tuesday.

“This is great news for the district and our customers,” said PUD Board President Russ Skolrood. “Having a reliable system is of the utmost importance and there are still improvements that can be made, but I am proud of the advances made by our maintenance crews in 2013.”

2013 saw PUD crews respond to 563 total outages, which is 11 percent lower than the five-year average and well below the 2012 total of 731. Those outages left customers without power for a total of 154,092 hours – 14 percent below the five-year average. September was the busiest month for PUD crews with 101 outages, while system burnouts (line fuse, transformer fuse or failed conductor) were the leading causes of outages with 87. Scheduled outages had the biggest impact on customer hours (53,045).

Weather related outages made up a large portion of the 2013 totals, with 49 outages attributed …read more

Crews responding to Tokeland outage

Grays Harbor PUD crews are responding to a power outage in the Tokeland area. The outage is impacting the area from Pine Street south to the docks and is impacting roughly 100 customers. There is no estimated time for power restoration.

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