PORTLAND. Ore. — A deluge of ice and snow fueled by arctic cold and unrelenting winds is causing power outages throughout the northern Willamette Valley, Portland and coastal areas. Pacific Power crews and contractors are out in force with more than 230 staff now assessing damage and beginning repairs even as the storm continues to cause new outages.
As of 1 p.m. today, 33,000 customers are in the process of being restored. Most customers are expected to have service restored by late Sunday, Feb. 14 with some of the hardest hit areas remaining without service into Monday, Feb. 15. The communities with the largest remaining outages include:
- Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, 9,000
- Dallas, Independence, 11,000
- Stayton , Mill City, 8,000
- Astoria, 3,400
“Our crews are out in the field assessing damage and restoring power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Allen Berreth, vice president of operations. “We appreciate the patience that customers have shown during this outage and we want to remind everyone to stay clear of any down lines you may see. Doing repair work in these conditions is very challenging. Many roads are blocked and lines are still being brought down by ice and snow snapping tree branches. We are often restoring one set of customers only to have another nearby neighborhood go down.”
Pacific Power encourages customers to report outages by calling 1-877-508-5088 or text OUT to 722797. Text STAT to 722797 to check the status of your outage.
To ease the inconvenience of power outages and assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power suggests the following 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.
- Maintain safe distances from workers. Repair work is being done under our COVID-19 safety protocols. Waves and acknowledgement are welcome, but please allow crews to do their work at an appropriate distance both for operational and COVID-19 safety.
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance.
- If you have power at this time, keep mobile devices charged so that may be used in an emergency. Before anything happens, download the Pacific Power app to your smart device so you can have information readily available.
- 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.
- Remember your pets! Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.
- 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.