This is a press release courtesy of Pacific Power
Currently, Pacific Power has approximately 6,600 customers without power throughout Oregon.
This is the highest number of customer outages for the Pacific Power service area since the storm began on Saturday, 12/20, and the outages are concentrated in the north central Willamette Valley where heavy ice and blocked roads have made access as well as system repair extremely difficult.
Pacific Power is advising customers and communities to expect and prepare for repeated or multiple outages in the same locations that are currently affected, as well as extended outage inconvenience – all due to the cumulative effects of the weather: Ice on top of snow, with more snow predicted on top of the ice has caused significant destruction of power lines, power poles and the trees that to and from customer locations.
Until the weather actually warms up and stays that way, it is expected that many of these remaining customers and others will be without power. Pacific power is strongly urging customers and communities around Stayton, Dallas, Independence, Fall City and Albany to make preparations to take of themselves, their families and their neighbors for several days, and through Tuesday, at a minimum.
The company has had crews working continuously over the last 26 hours to restore outages in various locations. The current, longest duration outage is in the Dallas, OR community in and around the Reuben-Coise Road area. That particular outage is affecting 134 customers who have been out for approximately 22 hours.
Other outage spots in the Glide area, near Roseburg, Hood River and a brief outage in the Portland area Saturday morning have been resolved relatively quickly for our customers. Hood River and Clatsop Counties were experiencing small outages this evening. However, the Dallas, Independence, Aumsville and Stayton communities have been particularly affected. Prompt restoration has been hampered by the ice, snow and wind, but also treacherous road conditions that have reduced or prevented access for crews and other responders.
Pacific Power crews and contract crews that were previously staged anticipating and preparing for the storm were deployed last night and throughout the day to problem areas in need of restoration. Additional crews of all types and skills are being brought into the Willamette Valley area from Bend, Coos Bay, Medford, Roseburg and Klamath Falls to continue the restoration effort. The restoration work will continue through the night. Additional crews have also been sent to Portland in anticipation of worsening conditions that area.
Currently, there are 18 full crews and numerous individual specialists focused on the affected Willamette Valley customers
Pacific Power is anticipating additional outages due to current and increased freezing weather conditions. Added to the sporadic and dispersed nature of the outages, remote location of many customers plus worsening road conditions, this all will likely mean that some customers may not have their power fully restored until at least Tuesday. Again, Pacific power urges its customers to take whatever measures they can do safely in anticipation of this lengthy power outage, and help us keep their safety and well-being the top priority.
The worsening and fluctuating weather means that customers who have been spared power outages up to now still should prepare and have an emergency kit that includes the following:
- Battery-operated radio and clock
- Extra batteries
- Non-perishable foods
- Manual can opener
- Bottled water
If a power outage occurs at your home, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, the customer should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-LITES OUT (1-877-548-3768).
To ease the inconvenience of power outages and assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power suggests the following tips and safety precautions:
- Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous.
- Call and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-LITES OUT (1-877-548-3768).
- Candles should never be left unattended or used for extended periods. Use a flashlight or other battery-powered lighting source.
- Use a fireplace or wood stove to keep warm. Pay careful attention to fire hazards.
- Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don't use charcoal in your house or garage.
- Never use a barbecue grill indoors. Cook over sterno cans.
- Don't drive over downed power lines.
- Turn on your porch light switch. After crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if lights are on.
- As much as possible, do not open refrigerators and freezers—they will keep food and perishables inside cold for some time if not opened.
- Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Add a hat and blanket to stay warm. Blankets and towels around windows and doors help keep the heat in.
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.
- Protect your pipes during freezing weather by wrapping them with insulation. Also, leave faucets dripping so water won't freeze and crack the pipes.
- Generators should be located outside and far enough away from any occupied space that fumes are not drawn into a dwelling. In positioning a generator, also be mindful of prevailing winds.
- Make sure generators are properly wired for your home or business, and don't connect a generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. This can create a dangerous backfeed hazard for lines crews.
When it is safe to check, and as power is being restored in your neighborhood, customers should safely – and only VISUALLY -- check for damage to their meter-base connection on the side of their homes. If there appears to be damage to the meter base, you will need to make arrangements to have a residential or commercial electrician repair the damage so Pacific Power will be able to effectively restore power to your home.
Pacific Power thanks its customers for being patient during these storms, the resulting outages, and the time it takes for our crews to restore their power safely and efficiently.