Lights out: Kachemak Bay residents go without power for days

Jul 13, 2018

Some residents on the south side of Kachemak Bay had their power restored Friday after multiple power outages left some without electricity over the past week.

Bruce Shelley is the director of member relations for Homer Electric Association. He said a majority of the outage came from downed power lines near Stonehocker Creek. He said HEA began receiving calls about the outages Sunday.

“Upon investigation, it was found that there was flooding in the area caused by, apparently, rains in the area,” he said. “Plus, we had some unusual warm weather, melting glacier, and snow pack up in the mountains which came down and caused the river there to breach its banks and came over and started to go down the east area taking out a couple power poles there.”

Power was restored for some residents in Seldovia that same day. However, roughly 135 HEA members in Halibut Cove, Peterson and China Poot Bay went without power until late Monday evening when HEA installed generators, restoring power to most homes.  

From there, Shelley said the amount of members who had power fluctuated, but he adds some customers in Peterson Bay were without power most of the week. He says it was difficult to get employees across Kachemak Bay to fix the problem.

“You have to realize, in a flooding situation, the bay area becomes very unstable for sending people in and  we don't want to hurt or kill anyone,” he said. “Have to wait for that water to recede a little bit.”

On Thursday, HEA temporarily fixed the source of the issue and began the process of taking residents off generators.

HEA hopes to provide a more permanent fix to the issue, but Shelley says the electric co-op is unsure how long that may take.  HEA held a community meeting in Halibut Bay for those affected by the outages Friday.