According to a Snohomish County Press Release from Tuesday, Aug. 17, five Snohomish County PUD power poles have been damaged by vandals on two separate occasions in the Lynnwood area over the past week.
Along with the Seattle branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lynnwood Police Department, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Energy have each been reported to investigate.
In the statement released by PUD Media & Public Relations officers, Aaron Swaney and Cayle Thompson the vandals seemed to use a chainsaw to cut a power pole down near the intersection of Butternut Road and Maple Road in Lynnwood.
The downed pole resulted in 4,000 customers without power on the early morning of Aug. 14. Officials suspect the vandals used a chainsaw on each occasion. “We take this type of vandalism extremely seriously… attempting to damage energized infrastructure is very dangerous and can result in severe injury or even death,” said PUD Security, Services and Business Continuity officer Rob Beidler in the announcement.
On Sat. Aug 15, the morning after the vandals took down the power pole near Maple Road, PUD security guards discovered an additional four power poles that appeared to have been cut by a chainsaw.
The poles were stationed near the PUD’s North Alderwood substation and the Interurban Trial, adjacent to the Interstate-5 on ramps. Though the poles were damaged they did not fall. Partial outages resulted from the damage including some communications equipment that was temporarily affected.
Thompson shared that all damaged poles have been replaced by PUD line crews and all outages caused by the incidents have been restored.
The PUD is asking the public to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity near all PUD substations or power poles in the area. If you see or hear anything suspicious near PUD electrical infrastructure or with information on either incident, please call 9-1-1.