Surviving the storm in Lake Oswego
In what Portland General Electric classified as one of the worst storms in the past 40 years to hit the region, the recent snow, wind and ice storm over the weekend of Feb. 12 left thousands of Lake Oswegans without power.
While many people have had power slowly restored, thousands of PGE customers remained in the dark as of Thursday afternoon, Feb. 18.
Pamplin Media Group asked Lake Oswego residents to share their experiences during the storm.
Downed trees create mess
Lake Oswego resident Paul Lyons experienced intermittent power outages and a tree that came down next to his home during the snowstorm.
"We were out of power for eight hours one day, then it came back on and was off for another 12 hours," Lyons said.
During that time, as snow and ice blanketed Lake Oswego and caused tree limbs to break off, one tree came down a little too close to home.
"The neighbor's tree — they don't live there, they rent the house next to us — it busted in half and it all came into our backyard," Lyons said. "My bird feeder and birdbath and a few other things got busted up, but it's not a big deal."
Lyons said his neighbors arrived early Feb. 18 with chainsaws and cut up the tree that fell, placing the pieces across the fence back onto their own property, which he was grateful for.
"It didn't hit our house or mess anything up, but it was very, very fortunate," Lyons said.
Returning home to no power
Lake Oswego City Councilor Massene Mboup spent more than a week in the hospital after suffering a stroke Feb. 6.
When he returned to his Lake Oswego home Monday, Feb. 15, he was without power.
"The nurse was telling me, 'If you're not sure you won't have power, I'm not sure you should go home,'" Mboup said. "I spent the coldest night of my life (at home). It was crazy."
The next day he checked into a hotel in downtown Lake Oswego before power was restored to his house Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Mboup essentially experienced a hemorrhage between his skull and brain, though he is now on the mend.
"I was lucky I came (to the hospital)," Mboup said. "It was not an aneurysm, which they were very afraid of."
While Mboup is grateful for PGE workers who were out in the winter elements, trying to fix and restore power to homes and businesses, he is frustrated with PGE as a company.
"I'm angry, in a way, that we are one of the richest countries on Earth (and) we have the worst infrastructure of the developed world. It's a shame," Mboup said. "PGE is an irresponsible company that has to be held accountable."
Raining limbs in Bryant area
Drew Tydeman, who lives in the Bryant neighborhood of Lake Oswego, remembers waking up to screams and what sounded like an explosion around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.
He ran down the hallway to his children's room to make sure they were safe, then realized a tree hit the house and broke in half, shattering the window of the kids' playroom on the lower level of his home.
"We realized then, that 25 degrees outside, we had to patch up the window," Tydeman said. "I had another limb come down after we were completed there and impale itself in my roof and caused a big hole in the roof, and a third one came down and knocked my gutters off the side of the house."
Tydeman said it felt like it was raining limbs. The family was out of power and cell service for four days, until power was restored Feb. 17.
"You're basically just on a desert island," he said. "(We) played a lot of Yahtzee, some Old Maid with the kids, the whole deal."
Tydeman said his family had nowhere to go as other family members who also lived in Lake Oswego were without power. They decided to put food outside and make igloo-like structures to keep the food fresh, and also found a can of propane to cook food on a mini barbecue. Meanwhile, the woodstove helped heat the indoors since cold air was coming through the broken window, he said.
"We're just glad everybody's safe. At the end of the day I can fix a window, I can fix a roof but you can't fix other things," Tydeman said. "Normally, I really love snow, but I couldn't be happier to see that melt and go away."
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