PORTLAND, Ore. (aiexpress) – The snowfall has ceased, but Oregon and Southwest Washington are still grappling with freezing temperatures and harsh winds. These gusts, accompanied by fallen trees and power lines, have resulted in widespread power outages across the region.
As of 9 p.m. Sunday, PGE has reported a total of 3,697 active outages, which are affecting a total of 90,301 customers.
Restoration efforts can be found on the PGE site, specifically on the Winter Storm Info page.
In a statement released on Saturday night, PGE reported that their crews are diligently working throughout the night to evaluate the extent of the damage and restore power to their customers as swiftly and safely as possible, considering the severe conditions they are facing. With over 300 crews operating around the clock, including additional backup teams from various parts of the state, PGE is making every effort to expedite the power restoration process. However, the challenging conditions, characterized by tree branches entangled in power lines, powerful winds, and icy conditions across the region, may cause delays in the restoration efforts.
During a press conference held on Sunday afternoon, PGE spokesperson Drew Hanson provided an update on the power outage situation. According to Hanson, as of noon on Saturday, approximately 118,000 customers were still experiencing a lack of service. On a positive note, the company has successfully restored power to nearly 110,000 customers who were affected by the storm.
“We anticipate making substantial strides today with the arrival of mutual aid crews from various regions in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, the repair of transmission lines will contribute to the restoration of power for large groups of customers,” Hanson expressed. “Presently, we have more than 575 dedicated crew members and contractors diligently working to restore power promptly while prioritizing safety.”
According to Hanson, the PGE crews will have a better opportunity to evaluate the damage as the weather stabilizes. However, their main focus is on clearing fallen trees, branches, and any visible damage, as well as determining the necessary repairs. Hanson mentioned that this process may take some additional time, so restorations will likely continue throughout the week. In addition, the crews are also making preparations for the anticipated freezing rain and sleet on Tuesday.
According to John Farmer, a spokesperson for PGE, the extensive damage caused by the recent event makes the restoration process more challenging. PGE will need to prioritize certain areas, such as hospitals and water systems, which have critical operations and may not rely solely on generators. However, for the remaining areas, it could take several days before power is fully restored.
According to Farmer, losing power before someone else does not necessarily mean that you will get it back first. This is only the case if you are part of a larger area with a feeder line problem, as priority may be given to larger area outages over smaller ones.
PGE has a website where you can report an outage and get updates on the status of the outage in your neighborhood. However, because there are so many outages in the area, they may not be able to give you a specific time for when they can address the issue or provide an estimated time for power restoration.
Meanwhile, Pacific Power has reported a total of 139 outages in Oregon, impacting 7,639 customers. The power company is actively working to restore these outages, with 200 crews and a total of 800 personnel dedicated to the task.
PacifiCorp representatives have successfully obtained resources by utilizing their “emergency coordination structure” towards the end of last week in preparation for the storm. These resources consisted of crews from their Clatsop, Hood River, Pendleton, and Yakima districts.
Erik Brookhouse, the vice president of System Operations at PacifiCorp, explained the current challenges faced by the company. He mentioned that due to the need for switching and removing trees from power lines, there is some movement happening within their operations. The extreme cold temperatures make it challenging to pick up load efficiently. However, Brookhouse assured that both the system operations team and field operations teams are working diligently to overcome these difficulties as quickly as possible.
During the peak of the weather conditions, Pacific Power experienced outages that affected 48,164 customers in Oregon. However, over the past three days, they have successfully restored power to 21,200 customers.
Clark Public Utilities in Southwest Washington has reported that a total of 453 customers were affected by the recent outage. Fortunately, 10,759 customers have already had their power restored.
On the coast, Tillamook Public Utility District is currently experiencing just 14 outages, which are impacting hundreds of customers. This represents a significant decrease from Sunday morning.
Keep up with the latest updates on KOIN 6 News.
To stay up to date with the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, simply visit KOIN.com.