Castle Valley Comments
Aug. 2, 2012
by Ron Drake
Aug 02, 2012 | 270 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some of us in Castle Valley, as well as other parts of the county endured nearly 24 hours of power outages in two separate incidents during the past two days. I was just thinking the other day that we haven’t had any major electrical issues in the valley for quite some time, so I take full responsibility for jinxing our good fortune.

Last Saturday, just before 10 p.m., the power went out for everyone in Castle Valley as well as Cisco and La Sal and parts of Moab and Thompson. Line crews with Rocky Mountain Power worked through the early morning hours to restore the power, which came back on at 4:09 a.m., according to Jeff Hymas, a spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power. He said the cause of the outage was either from the wind or probably from lightning, but either way it was weather related. The outage originated on the east side of the Sand Flats Road and affected 656 Rocky Mountain Power customers.

The following Sunday at 6:16 p.m. the power went out again, affecting 570 customers including approximately half of Castle Valley as well as Cisco, La Sal and a portion of Moab. The outage lasted more than 16 hours before the crew working through the night and into the next morning was able to find the problem and restore the power. Hymas said the problem was difficult to find because the line stretches over a long distance, much of it in rural areas of the county. The source of the problem was eventually found in a canyon south of Moab, where a pole sustained equipment failure, which was likely caused by the attempted theft of metal from the pole. Rocky Mountain Power is still investigating the cause.

The long period of time without electricity created hardship to many in the valley and elsewhere, but Hymas said Rocky Mountain Power appreciates the patience of the customers during the outage. Officially, the power was restored at 10:22 a.m. on Monday morning, much to the relief of those who were wondering how they were going to keep food cold or frozen if it lasted much longer.

By the way, I’m wondering if when people bought their new cordless phones they saved their old telephones, you know, the ones where the receiver is attached to the phone by a cord. The new cordless phones are certainly convenient but do not work worth a darn when the power goes out. We still have several of the old phones around, but the one we use the most is an antique wall phone with the crank on the side. It has a rotary dial on the inside to make outgoing calls, which is obsolete in itself, but it still gets the job done.

* * *

Last week, I wrote about the street names in Castle Valley and the fact that they were named after the subdivision developer, Carlsberg Corporation, and their corporate officials and Grand County officials and other prominent county residents.

I tried to contact Ann McLanahan last week for information about the names, but she was out of town. Since she bought her property and began building in October of 1973, she is among the earliest residents to settle in the Castle Valley River Ranchos. She still has the original documents related to the purchase of her land and also remembers many of the individuals who were connected with the subdivision.

I mentioned that Shafer Lane was named for a prominent Grand County family, which is accurate, but more specifically, Ann said this week that it was named after the Grand County Building Inspector, Cecil Shafer. Powell Lane (Rim Shadow Lane) and Bailey Lane were probably board members of Carlsberg Corporation. And as for Hooley Lane, Ann also remembers that name on documents associated with the developer, Carlsberg Corporation.

* * *

The La Sal Mountain Loop Road is now closed to through traffic as crews from LeGrand Johnson Construction begin rebuilding the shoulders of the roadway, installing drainage pipe and removing excess material from the sites.

The road will be closed at Mill Creek as they do shoulder excavation and installing pipe, and Miner’s Basin is also closed for the waste disposal work from Mill Creek. Oowah Lake and Warner Lake can still be accessed by way of the Sand Flats Road in Moab.

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