Thousands in Lake Oswego still without power
Baird Bulmore, owner of Baird's on B, lined his restaurant's balcony with mixed greens, romaine heads and steaks in an effort to keep the food fresh.
Bulmore's restaurant in downtown Lake Oswego lost power for four days dating back to Friday, Feb. 12. Power was restored to Baird's on B early in the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 16, when lights flickered back to life. And because of the cold weather, Bulmore salvaged a good amount of food and reopened his restaurant for dining on Tuesday, though there will be a limited menu due to the effects of the power outage.
Bulmore, it turns out, was one of the lucky ones, as thousands of homes and businesses remain without power across the city.
Many Lake Oswego city facilities and businesses took to social media to share information about closures. Businesses reporting closures due to power outages include Holy Taco, Chuckie Pies, Kyra's Bake Shop, Five Spice Seafood and Bamboo Sushi.
Lola's Cafe Bar experienced a false alarm with power being restored. Manager Katy Alstat said the power came on the evening of Feb. 16, so Lola's was planning on opening Wednesday, Feb. 17. But it turned out that only partial power was restored and the larger pieces of equipment still remained without power Wednesday.
"We got our hopes up for nothing, so we are closed still," Alstat said. "We had to throw out almost everything after we realized the refrigerator temperatures were not going to hold for more than a day or two."
Alstat added that the business has been without power since Saturday but staff was able to transfer meats to the sister restaurant Babica Hen. Power was restored at Babica Hen on Monday.
"It's really hard on the Lola's team right now to be missing out on so much income," Alstat said.
City facilities and virtual events were also closed or postponed. The Lake Oswego Council meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16, was postponed to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, while City Hall is closed. Other facilities closed include the Lake Oswego Public Library, the Adult Community Center, and Parks and Recreation offices. The city also reminded community members to pay attention to park closures and not pass traffic cones, barricades or caution tape as many parks and pathways are also closed due to storm damage and downed trees.
According to Portland General Electric, 7,110 customers in the 97034 Lake Oswego ZIP code and 3,970 customers in the 97035 ZIP code had yet to see power restored as of 1:50 p.m. Tuesday.
Andrea Platt, PGE spokesperson, said since the snowstorm hit Friday, PGE has restored power to more than 290,000 customers, though as of Tuesday morning, there are still roughly 216,000 customers without power.
Platt said the storm brought unique challenges with multiple weather systems at play.
"As we repair things, we are also experiencing, simultaneously, additional damage," Platt said. "This has been the worst storm we've seen in more than 40 years in terms of its impact on our system."
Platt said more than 5,000 power lines are down in PGE's service region and there's been substantial damage to feeders, substations and more than 250 miles of transmission lines — pieces of equipment critical in restoring power to home and businesses.
"That's pretty extensive," said Platt, herself a Lake Oswego resident who lost power at her home several times, "which is a little unusual."
PGE has more than 3,000 people working to restore power to customers, though Platt said PGE is anticipating that bringing everyone back online may take several more days.
"There is a reason the governor called a state of emergency given the devastation," Platt said. "We always try to prioritize the areas (where), if we fix it, it will bring the most amount of people back online. … It's a complex equation. There are a lot of variables that go in there."
Platt said PGE appreciates people's patience and that crews are working as hard as they can. She encouraged people to visit PGE's website, which includes resources on food safety for people with no power and how to help prepare homes for the restoration of power.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.