Hundreds still without power Friday in Baring, Skykomish near Bolt Creek Fire burn scar

Hundreds of residents in Baring and Skykomish were still without power Friday as temperatures plunged.  

Puget Sound Energy's outage map showed that were around 753 customers without power on Friday afternoon, many have been off-line since Nov. 30. 

"We have had power for roughly 24 hours in the last eight days," said Shawna Dudley, a resident in Baring. 

Dudley's house sits on the King County & Snohomish County line. She's one of the hundreds of customers that were still without power Friday. 

"It’s been pretty dark and pretty cold. If you don’t have a wood stove up there or a generator, you are kind of in a world of hurt right now," said Dudley.  

When we talked to her, she was charging her phone at her parent's place near Espresso Chalet.  Just five minutes away on Highway 2, her farmhouse remained dark. 

"I do have a wood stove. I cook on it. It’s big enough to heat my whole farmhouse," said Dudley.  

Dudley says she also ordered a generator for the first time in 20 years. Her home sits in an area close to the Bolt Creek Fire burn scar. She wonders if things like falling debris or weak or compromised trees in the burn area are playing a role in the outage.   

"After the fires, and having our power out all summer and now we are not even a week into winter and it's out all week," said Dudley. "The fire went right through the power grid that goes over the pass.  It burnt right under the power lines." 

Gerald Tracy, a spokesperson for Puget Sound Energy, says the extended outages in the Baring and Skykomish areas are due to access challenges, unsafe conditions and poor visibility and avalanche danger due to heavy snowfall. That was also the reason he cited for the lack of restoration times on the outage maps.  

He said after foot patrols and helicopter patrols went out Friday, they mobilized resources and hope to respond to areas of damage and the affected substation in order to make substantial progress by Friday evening. 

"We got a recorded phone call from them yesterday saying it would be an extended period of time because crews have to get to multiple broken lines they are trying to fix," said Dudley.  

While residents wait for the deep snow to melt and the power to come back on.  Dudley says the residents will keep leaning on each other. 

"If somebody needs something, we reach out. We all do gas runs for generators. We all take care of each other in Baring," said Dudley.  

Meantime, Baring resident Patty Winget suggested that PSE help customers pay for the gas that's being used to run their generators while the power remains off.  She says she lives on social security and a fixed income and that she has spent around $40 per day to run her generator. 

Fortunately, she told us that her power came on just after 4:30 pm Friday evening.  "'How long is it going to be on?', is the question", said Winget. 

Tracy says PSE crews were hoping to have all or most customers restored to power by Friday evening, but said that is weather dependent.