Winter weather havoc continues Monday in Portland
Portland General Electric said Sunday that the snow, ice and wind storm that began Thursday, Feb. 11, is causing extraordinary damage to its equipment, and that contact and mutual aid crews are being brought in from as far away as Montana and Nevada to speed the repairs.
"We thank affected customers for their patience under these difficult conditions. Crews will continue to work around the clock, as quickly as safety allows, until everyone is back online. Given the extreme situation, the repair effort may take several days before service can be restored to all customers, and some customers could experience multiple outages as the weather continues to deteriorate," the Portland-based utility company said in the Feb. 14 announcement.
About 20,900 customers were powerless as of 9:30 a.m. Feb. 14.
According to PGE, at least 4,000 of its power lines have been brought down by ice and tree limbs, and multiple transmission lines across its service area have been severely damaged. At the peak so far, about 253,000 PGE customers were affected Feb.13, while about 189,000 remain without service on Sunday morning, Feb. 14.
Restoration work is expected to take some time, PGE said, continuing into next week. Even when power has been restored, it can go out again if another branch falls later.
The utility also warned that people should always assume any downed line is live and extremely dangerous and should stay far back. Never touch a downed wire with your body or any object. Report any downed line immediately to PGE by calling 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795.
For customers who are without power, PGE said they know it's hard, especially in the cold. Such customers are encouraged to:
• Use caution with alternative light and heating sources to avoid unintentional fire from candles, harmful fumes from kerosene heaters used indoors without proper ventilation or deadly carbon monoxide from use of charcoal briquettes indoors;
• Lock in home heat by tacking blankets over windows and doorways to keep the cold out and putting rolled towels at the bottom of doors to keep drafts out;
• Save body heat by wearing loose layers of clothing to trap body heat; wearing a hat, even when sleeping; moving periodically to generate body heat and using blankets and a hot water bottle if feasible.
• If you can do so safely, consider staying with a friend or family member who has power;
• If you're concerned for yourself, a family member or neighbor, consider finding another location with power.
• If you need emergency shelter or have other needs related to cold weather, please call 911. For customers whose power is out, please contact PGE if you haven't already.
PGE offers several ways to report an outage or get an update:
• Online: Go to portlandgeneral.com/outages-safety. Customers also can view a map and a list of current outages by ZIP code.
• App: Download at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Links also available at portlandgeneral.com/app.
• Phone: Call 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795 to report a power outage or downed line through our automated system. Customers can also request a call back when power is restored.
• Social: Follow PGE on Twitter @PortlandGeneral and Facebook @PortlandGeneralElectric.
PGE serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/newsroom.
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