Forecast for ice and wind in Pacific Northwest makes preparation top priority

PORTLAND, Ore. — Freezing rain, frigid temperatures and strong Columbia River Gorge winds are forecast to hit the Pacific Northwest starting Thursday and continuing through Friday. Pacific Power is preparing for possible electric service outages.

“Wintery blasts can be unpredictable and lead to power outages,” said Allen Berreth, vice president, operations. “We are always prepared to respond with crews at the ready to repair damage as fast as possible and reduce the amount of time any customer is without service. We are staging personnel and equipment to respond to outages as they occur.”

Pacific Power’s meteorology team is closely monitoring forecasts and field personnel are prepping for ice-related impacts late this week. While this storm is forecast to be much less severe than the ice storm that hit the region in February 2021, weather conditions will bring a risk of power outages in the following locations due to freezing rain and gusty winds:

  • Portland Metro
  • Coastal areas from Astoria to Lincoln City
  • Willamette Valley
  • Hood River, with freezing rain lingering through Saturday

To ensure that you are prepared for outages, we ask that every home maintain an Emergency Outage Kit that includes the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated radio and clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-perishable foods 
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets

If a power outage occurs, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check their fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088 or by texting OUT to 722797.

Get the App. The Pacific Power app for mobile devices can become invaluable during an outage. You can report and track an outage affecting you from your mobile device. The app is free and can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play.

Pacific Power suggests these safety precautions once a storm has hit:

  • 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 immediately, then report it to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088. 
  • Extensive rain may cause flooding or landslides. Be especially careful of any standing water or even soggy ground. A live, downed wire may seem to be a safe distance away, but it is still extremely dangerous due to wet conditions.
  • Don’t drive over downed power lines.