PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Even though the brunt of the wicked winter storm has passed, nearly 219,000 homes in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington remain without power as crews work around-the-clock to restore electricity.
Portland General Electric said they have more than 2,500 people dedicated to the problem that nearly 5,000 downed power lines caused.
As of 8:15 p.m. February 16, 2021:
Tens of thousands of homes in areas such Clackamas and Marion counties lost power Friday night, forcing families to figure out how to stay warm during a major winter weather event. Several homeowners told KOIN 6 News they still hadn’t seen any service crews in their neighborhoods by Tuesday.
PGE said its crews prioritize areas with the highest concentration of power customers. Along with the downed power lines, there were nearly 600 downed transmission lines that shuttle electricity from power stations to customers. Families were advised to be prepared for the outages to continue.
“As soon as we can give you a more realistic estimate we will,” said Steve Corson with PGE, “right now we need people to be prepared for the fact that it could be several days yet.”
Most power has been restored to Clark County and many residents were able to dig out and cure their cabin fever.
With temps in the 40s, the main roads are back to normal although wet and slushy. But many people were still getting stuck even on main roads like 164th. Most schools across Clark County remained closed on Tuesday.
Plow drivers were busy clearing parking lots from Ridgefield to Washougal. C-Tran buses returned to schedule. And grocery stores were busy with customers finally able to get out and re-stock their personal supplies.
Additionally, the Clark County Department of Health announced all COVID-19 appointments at the Clark County Fairgrounds that were delayed by the storm have all been rescheduled. They listed the details of the rescheduled times on their Twitter feed.
State of emergency
“Utilities in our region have never experienced such widespread outages, including during the September 2020 wildfires,” Gov. Kate Brown said Monday. “The state of emergency I declared on Saturday will ensure that all necessary state resources are available on the ground to help Oregonians impacted by this winter storm.
“I want to thank all the local and state workers, first responders, and utility crews who continue to work around the clock in incredibly difficult conditions to clear roads, restore power, and aid families in need. I am also incredibly grateful for work crews who have stepped in from other states to assist.
Brown reminded people to not call 911 unless it is for a life-safety emergency. Instead, call 211 or you local non-emergency line for assistance or information.
Gov. Brown also advised Oregonians to remain at home unless necessary.
POWER OUTAGE TIPS
If your power goes out, PGE lists the following tips:
- Check surge protectors and all the GFCI outlets in your home to make sure they are working properly.
- Check your circuit breakers and reset any that may have tripped.
- If your entire home is without power or if other homes around you are without power, call PGE to report the outage, either by phone, online or the PGE app. You can also request to get updates and with our outage map, see which areas are being impacted by an outage.
As the winter weather continues more outages could take place. Be sure to take proper precautions and preparations for inclement weather.