When a power failure hit the Albany area on Monday afternoon and knocked out all the traffic signals, motorists did what they usually do when this happens: Without being told, they took turns.
Long lines of traffic formed on Pacific Boulevard and at intersections on other major roads, but there was no chaos.
I didn’t see any police officers directing traffic at Pacific and Queen, one of the busiest spots in town, or at the downtown intersections I drove across during the outage. But almost without exception, drivers were patient, whether they were heading home from work or on their way to McDonald’s for a meal, as we were.
Pacific Power said the outage affected more than 27,000 customers in Albany and Corvallis. It was caused by a transmission problem the utility did not immediately explain. The power went out a little after 5 and came back on, in North Albany at least, at about 6:30 p.m.
But as luck would have it, at the West Albany McDonald’s the lights stayed on. (hh)