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Windy weather causes season's second outage

"High winds last Saturday morning knocked out alarm clocks all over South Whidbey, causing at least a few people to get up later than usual and sending Puget Sound Energy into emergency mode.At 6:05 a.m., two trees fell almost simultaneously in Freeland and Coupeville, snapping the main electric lines feeding South Whidbey. PSE spokesman Karl Kirn said Monday that the double tree fall also knocked out South Whidbey's vaunted looped line system, which is designed to keep the power on even when a portion of the main power line is damaged. Kirn said it took four PSE repair crews three hours to repair the lines and restore power to South Whidbey. The power company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during the past summer removing trees on South Whidbey that posed a danger to the lines. It also undergrounded power lines in a number of areas, including Scatchet Head and Swede Hill roads. Kirn said both actions should reduce the number of winter outages during the coming season. "

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