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Benton County electric linemen were heroes on one long, cold night

Tri-City Herald

March 28-- Mar. 28--KENNEWICK, Wa. -- Electric utility linemen turned into heroes during February's heavy snow, according to the Washington State Patrol.

It has given six employees of the Benton REA and Benton PUD the Washington State Patrol's Commendation Award for their work to rescue motorists who were stranded for six hours in blizzard conditions in rural Benton County.

The Washington State Patrol and Benton County Sheriff's Office deputies asked for the utilities' help after people became stuck in snow drifts on Sellards Road.

Utility crews from the rural electric association and public utility district worked late into the night to reach stranded people on snow crawlers.

They helped rescue a family of four, a husband and wife, and several hunters.

The snow was so deep that one of the snow crawlers became stuck in snow drifts and had to be helped by the second crawler.

"At Benton REA, we believe that our obligation to the people in our local communities goes beyond providing electricity," said general manager Mike Bradshaw.

Chad Bartram, the Benton PUD general manager, commended the linemen and others involved "in delivering more than expected to bring these stranded motorists to safety."

Those given the WSP award and a state patrol Challenge Coin were Benton REA Journeyman Linemen Cody Bradshaw, John Richards and Willie Yager; Benton REA General Manager Mike Bradshaw; and Benton PUD journeyman linemen Joe Garner and Shawn Hiebert.


(c)2019 Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.)

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