BEND, Ore. — Pacific Power crews have been at work repairing extensive damage since a destructive, fast-hitting windstorm slashed along the eastern slope of the Cascades the afternoon of May 30. At peak, more than 10,000 customers were without power Saturday in the area, part of more 30,000 experiencing effects of the storm in both Oregon and Washington.
Downed trees and limbs strewn across a rugged landscape are complicating the work of more than 45 Pacific Power crew members and contractors working around the clock in the area on more than a dozen individual outages involving 36 downed poles.
Restoration work has been challenging due to the large number and geographically dispersed outages. Crews are making steady progress now and expect to continue to restore more customers into the evening.
As of 4 p.m., major outages were in:
- Prineville, 50 customers (projected restoration 9 p.m.)
- Madras & Warm Springs, 650 customers (projected restoration 10 p.m.)
- Culver & Metolious, 1,430 customers (projected restoration midnight)
- Crooked River Ranch, 1,620 customers (projected restoration midnight)
“With customers still contending with COVID-19, we know any additional strain needs to be minimized. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through this as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Matt Chancellor, Pacific Power’s regional business manager. “Crews are running into significant damage and in some places needing to clear roads before repair can begin.”
To assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power reminds customers to follow these 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 911 and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.
- Don’t drive over downed power lines.
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance, if you can do so safely.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- If you are using alternate heat or cooking sources, remember to allow plenty of ventilation. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
- If you are using a generator, make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the generator is outside and not near any household air intakes. Do not connect the generator directly to your breaker box as this can create a dangerous situation for crews working on the powerlines. Instead plug essential appliances directly into the generator.