Woodburn powerless ‘having a tough time in the cold’

Marion County

Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors given away by the hundreds

WOODBURN, Ore (KOIN) — Some people in Woodburn are getting restless now that their power has been out for more than a week. The town has been hard hit by the outages and more than 20 people in the region have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning since the storm hit.

Thursday, local businesses donated about 200 carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to be given away through the fire department. This was so popular the devices were all gone within a few hours.

“We started at 7 a.m. and we had a line right at 7 a.m.,” said Chief Joe Budge of the Woodburn and Hubbard Fire Districts.

A carbon monoxide detector, February 17, 2021 (KOIN)

Budge said they plan to hand out more of the devices Friday beginning at 1 p.m. and he expects those to go quickly, too.

“The phone has been ringing constantly all day and we’ve been telling them to get there early,” Budge said.

Meanwhile, the struggle continues for those without power.

Mike and Connie Hachquet, who “really, really appreciated all the hard work that the linemen have done,” noted there are power poles that remain down, some leaning against residential homes in their neighborhood, Woodburn Estates. It’s kept many in the 55-and-older community in the dark.

“Most of the folks around us are in the 80s and 90s and they’re having a really tough time in the cold,” Mike said.

They feel lucky because they have a gas fireplace to keep warm but they’re very concerned for others.

Mike and Connie Hachquet have been without power for about a week in the Woodburn Estates neighborhood in Woodburn, February 18, 2021 (KOIN)

“We have another neighbor across the street who is on hospice care and he can’t be moved,” Mike said. “We are just finding out today it could be another 7 days.”

Like many others, the couple said they’re most frustrated that PGE won’t give them an estimate of when power might be restored.

“We just can’t seem to get a committment as to when,” Connie said. “If they would have said a week ago, we would have gone someplace.”

“Everything we got back is saying, ‘We are doing everything we can, but we are not committing to dates of when it’s going to be back,'” Mike added.

There are about 10 blocks in his neighborhood that doesn’t have power.

Around 11 p.m. Thursday, I-5 will be closed from Aurora to Brooks to give crews time to fix power poles and lines. It will remain closed from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

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