PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) –Thousands of PGE customers may soon have power restored after the electric utility proactively shut power down over strong wind gusts and extreme fire conditions.
PGE said power restoration is underway for all 10 Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and the areas where they proactively turned off the power. At 7 p.m. officials said power was being restored to Mt. Hood Corridor/Foothills, Scotts Mills, Portland West Hills, Tualatin Mountains, Central West Hills and the Southern West Hills
But the strong winds remain a concern, the company said. “Gusty winds near Mt. Hood are anticipated to bring extreme conditions later (Saturday) evening,” officials said in a statement.
PGE officials said they would place estimated restoration times on their website. Crews won’t be able to inspect lines and equipment until the weather calms down.
Crews were able to inspect “all PGE lines and equipment” in the affected areas. No repairs were necessary in the southern west hills area, officials said.
These shutoffs affected 10 key areas where fire risk could be high. Portland’s West Hills, Tualatin Mountains, North West Hills, Central West Hills, Oregon City, Estacada, Mt. Hood Corridor/foothills, Columbia River Gorge, Scotts Mills and the Southern West Hills.
PGE said they would keep operating the 5 community resource centers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day until power is restored. These resource centers, with bottled water, ice, charging devices and Wi-Fi, are:
- Welches Elementary School, 24901 E Salmon River Rd, Welches
- Firwood Elementary School, 42900 SE Trubel Rd, Sandy
- Silverton Safeway, 301 Westfield St, Silverton
- Banks Jim’s Thriftway, 12350 NW Main St, Banks
- Sheridan High School, 433 S Bridge St., Sheridan
Multnomah County officials said about 20 residents took advantage of the center at the Corbett Fire Station on Saturday.
Several other areas are also without power, although not designated “high-risk” due to the winds and fire risk, Silver Falls, Silverdale/Corbett, Southwest Scotts Mills, South Molalla, George, Colton and North Sandy are also seeing power outages.
Pacific Power said customers in Linn, Douglas, Lincoln, Tillamook, Marion, and Polk counties would be affected by power outages, specifically in the following areas: Stayton east through the Santiam Canyon, Lebanon, Sweet Home, Lincoln City, and Glide east along the Umpqua Highway.
“Community safety and reducing wildfire risk are top priorities for us,” Pacific Power VP of Operations Allen Berreth, said in a statement. “We thank our customers for their patience and understanding through this event.
KOIN 6 Meteorologist Natasha Stenbock reported Saturday morning that weather conditions could begin to improve Saturday night with the wind changing directions, clearing away the smokey skies.
The companies suggested people living in the affected areas create a summer outage kit and make sure everyone in the household knows where to find it. A full breakdown of what to include in a kit and other measures to take can be found here.
Community resource centers are open during this time, providing ice, water and a place to charge electronic devices. Visit the PGE website for a full list of centers open during this time.