Safety Message: Homeowner receives shock from 115,000-volt power line

Beaverton man receives shock from 115,000-volt power line
BEAVERTON, OREGON (12:18 PM PST on Saturday, December 20, 2003)
A homeowner received an electric shock Friday afternoon after part of the tree he was trimming touched a 115,000 volt power line.
The man was taken by LifeFlight to a nearby hospital. The mans identity hasnt been released. Officials also could not provide details on his condition or the extent of his injuries, but the incident was described by some as a 'near-electrocution.'
The homeowner was trimming the tree on his property with an electric chainsaw about 4 p.m. when a section of the top of the tree fell and hit the power line at the edge of his property, said Kregg Arntson, a spokesman for Portland General Electric.
Power wasnt lost to the neighborhood, but the accident serves as a warning for other homeowners, Arntson said.
This is just a reminder to homeowners, to really anybody, even contractors, that tree trimming should really be done by a professional who is trained in safety around tree trimming, Arntson said.
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Power not lost to neighbor hood? 115KV line? Huh?
I think more than just a "neighborhood" would have gone down!

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PGE has been doing a very good job of putting breakers in all of their substations high side switchgear. (Replacing fuses or circuit switchers). The motive is that in many cases the load has grown to high for proper selectivity on the protective relays feeding the sub-transmission lines. When they originally upgraded to 115kV 25 to 40 years ago they made most of their sub-transmission system into loops so that any one substation has at least two feeds to improve repair time. These two combine such that a loss of a single 115kV line results in nothing more than blinking lights to their customers.
Matthew
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I imagine this will add a few bucks to everyone's power bill when the homeowner's family sues and that whacky 9th circuit actually hears the case.
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Natural selection at work.
Beachcomber wrote:

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On Sun, 21 Dec 2003 09:05:19 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@nospam.xyz (Beachcomber) wrote:

Please provide source of your info. Nothing in any of the online Oregon newspapers. Your saying his name was "Kregg" ?
?????
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The original story has no more details, but was posted on kgw.com at this address on Saturday 12/19/03:
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_121903_news_beaverton_electrocution.bb67f57d.html
I am familiar with these lines and they are indeed 115,000 volts circuits on wooden pole structures. In this part of Oregon, the right-of-way often is literally adjacent to private residential lots which is the case here and there are a lot of tall pine trees everywhere which can cause potential problems.
This was near a major PGE substation with similar multiple incoming high voltage lines and I'm sure they were able to switch over to another feed when they de-engergized these lines to remove the man as there was no widespread power outage in this area.
Beachcomber
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Stupid is as stupid does. 115kv lines are at least 30 feet in the air to the bottom phase. What a maroon. I would be hard pressed getting near 115kv in a bucket truck. I have worked on 69kv and less for 30 years, not interested in any higher voltages. I was in a 230kv sub station in Mexico where the bottom phase was like 15-20 feet off the ground. I stood at the gate and used the zoom on the camera for what I needed. It is sad that this happened, it also sad that he is that cheap.
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us:

What I want to know is how did a tree EVER become allowed to grow so near such a high potential.
Bullshit. If it was near trees, it wasn't a 115kV line.
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the
worked
was
feet
what
You are an idiot. Take a 100 foot right of way, grow a 200foot tree at the edge...ta da. And that is on level ground. Put the scenario on a hillside and a short tree can fall into the line while growing outside of the right of way.
Perhaps you should read the report about the recent northeast blackout. Trees growing into high voltage lines was one of the major causes.
Charles Perry P.E.
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On Sun, 21 Dec 2003 13:56:58 -0500, "Charles Perry"

No, I am not.

Still sounds like lackadaisical poor management to me.
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of
to
I
for
hillside
right
How so? A utility has no legal right to trim trees outside of its right of way. You cannot force a property owner to let you trim a tree that is growing outside of the right of way. What would you have management do? Pray that trees don't grow so tall?
Try the real world for a change of pace. It is quite interesting.
Charles Perry P.E.
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Charles Perry wrote:

[snip]
We obtain tree trimming easements before building lines in these locations. I'm not sure what practices are followed elsewhere. Aside from that, tree trimming is still a sensitive subject with many people and in some cases (even with easements) people get emotional over trees and the political heat isn't worth the effort. And its something that (some) utilities figure they can economize on when times get tough or the stockholders get greedy.
But the problem put forth in the original post is that a utility can't stop a property owner from cutting his own trees within such an easement. Whether that property owner knows what he is doing or not.
--
Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
note to spammers: a Washington State resident
  Click to see the full signature.
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Since last Fall when we lost power for several days I have become MUCH more observant of utility right-of-ways and such.
One thing I notice is that the very process of creating the clear zones encourages the trees on either side to lean in. This happens on roads also. On some two lane roads the trees on either side bend over almost enough for the trunks to touch. What this means is that it is difficult to cut down a tree WITHOUT it hitting the utility lines.
It's easy to spot places where trees hae been permitted to grow under the local high voltage wires (which I was told were 19.8 kv phase to ground). In one spot you can see a brown tops of some pine trees. They pick up enough juice to stop growing up but not enough to trip out the line.
Since the telephone cables are much stronger than the power lines, the telephone company seems to not care! I have seen several places where a tree is being held up by the telephone cable. So long as the cable isn't actually broken, why "fix" it?

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John Gilmer wrote:

Which is why tree trimming easements need to be quite a bit wider than the road right of way. The trees need to be cut back so that when the leaners fall (or are cut), they miss the transmission lines.

The brown tops may be the result of the conductors swining or sagging near enough to the tree tops to flash over. The result is a circuit trip and reclose, IOW, the 'bumps' that my neighborhood is famous for. :-(
These are a sign that the circuit is in desperate need of tree maintenance. Sadly, the circuit voltage you are referring to usually doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of NERC reliability guidelines since they don't 'interconnect' utilities.

Because the phone circuits still work with a tree leaning on them, unlike overhead power lines. The trees do damage to the telephone cables (breaking the outer jacket and allowing water in) and need to be removed eventually.
--
Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
note to spammers: a Washington State resident
  Click to see the full signature.
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FPL seems pretty aggressive in cutting trees near their primaries here in SW Fla.
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SW
Now that you mention it, the MAJOR source of the "outside help" our power company got to restore service was from FPL. For several days around here (King George, VA) there were several more FPL crews working that Dominion Resources (aka VEPCO) crews.
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SW
Yep
tbh
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The result of that is our lights are not out for 2 weeks everytime we have a little squall. I never hesitate to compliment the great job FPL does around here.
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Charles Perry wrote:

[snip]
Right. And 115kV lines are quite common just running along public roads. Some people might be thinking of dedicated rights of way, but in my neighborhood, the 115kV (and 230kV) line are just built over the local distribution lines. In some cases the distance from the line to the edge of the right of way is 10 feet.
--
Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
note to spammers: a Washington State resident
  Click to see the full signature.
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