Another Electrical Sub-Station Copper Theft Endangered Workers
Much like two other large electrical power sub-station break-ins, this one could have resulted in injury or death to workers.
Pacific Power reported two recent thefts of copper grounding wire at two substation, now the BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) says their McNary Substation was hit. Authorities learned this week at least 29 substantial copper ground wires were stolen from the facility, likely between April 13-16. The station is near Umatilla.
BPA officials say not only are the thieves incredibly reckless by 'tinkering' at a substation with wiring, the lack of grounding could have resulted in injury to workers. A 'hot' substation becomes very dangerous without proper grounding. The lack of proper grounding can also result in serious damage to equipment as well.
Crews were able to restore the grounding without having to take down the entire substation, and did not have to interrupt service to customers.
Copper is the most sought after recyclable metal, and authorities immediately have alerted recycling centers all over the Pacific Northwest.