PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A family in Canby will get their first warm night in their own home Tuesday after nearly two weeks without power while thousands of other PGE customers across seven Oregon counties remain in the cold and dark.
“The last remaining customers are the more difficult to get back on. We’re dealing with literally thousands of locations still have one, two, maybe a dozen customers that are affected by each individual outage,” said Portland General Electric’s Steve Corson. “Crews are working their way through as quickly as they can, but it could be several days before those crews are back on.”
As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, PGE reported just over 9,100 customers remained without power. Officials said 400 crews (about 3,000 people) will continue working around-the-clock to restore power to the remaining customers.
Still, others may not have power again for another week, according to PGE.
‘Really, really rough’
Holly Teuscher told KOIN 6 News her family spent 12 days without power. They were also without internet, cell service, or running water because they have well water where they live in Canby. Teuscher said they went to a gas station to fill buckets of water to bring back to flush their toilets. They weren’t able to cook and had to throw away groceries. She said there were times when their home was colder than it was outside and they slept under a pile of blankets. During the day, they would either sit in their car or visit a neighbor with a fireplace to warm up.
“It was really, really rough,” Teuscher said, “and speaking with the neighbors, I know a lot of people had some emotional moments because after that long it just wears on you.”
Teuscher said the worst part was not knowing how long they’d have to wait for power to return. It finally turned back on at around noon on Tuesday.
PGE said it’s now on the final two phases of power restoration, but now the work ahead will be the hardest yet for crews.
“While we know that we have over 5,000 points of equipment damage to our system that still needs to be addressed, at this point, the repairs only bring back power to about 10 customers at a time,” said PGE President/CEO Maria Pope.