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            News Release




Subject:   SECOND AVALANCHE CLOSES S.R. 20, DIABLO AGAIN
For Immediate Release:   
2/7/2008  12:30:00 PM
For More Information Contact:


SEATTLE - Hydroelectric Operations Not Affected by Road Closure

A new avalanche has blocked State Route 20 today, cutting off access to Seattle City Lights Ross and Diablo Hydroelectric Projects on the Skagit River, the town of Diablo and the Environmental Learning Center operated by the North Cascades Institute. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will be assessing the road conditions later today, but does not anticipate being able to open the highway until next week. The slide occurred in the same stretch of road as an avalanche that blocked the highway from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4. City Light quickly restocked supplies and fuel to Diablo in between the highway closures to ensure safety and reliability of our facilities, Hydroelectric Project Manager Dave Bowers said. The dam projects continue to operate normally supplying electricity to City Light customers and we have maintained an accident-free safety record through all the unusual snow activities. There are 25 Seattle City Light employees who live in Diablo with their families. An additional 41 people are working and studying at the North Cascades Institutes Environmental Learning Center on Lake Diablo. Two people live at Ross Lake Resort. City Light maintains several facilities including a powerhouse and a cookhouse in the town of Diablo. These facilities were accessible to anyone stranded by the road closure. Diablo was resupplied earlier this week between the slides. A helicopter was scheduled to fly in emergency supplies and support personnel early this afternoon. Media inquiries for the Institute should be directed to: Saul Weisberg, Kris Molesworth and Christian Martin in the Sedro-Woolley headquarters. They can be reached at 360-856-5700 ext. 209 or nci@ncascades.org. Seattle City Lights media line is 206-386-4233. WSDOT has set up a hot line for people who are interested in finding out more about conditions on SR20. Call 360-707-5056.


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