PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thousands of PGE customers remain without power following proactive shutoffs in the face of a wind storm and wildfires in Oregon.

Portland General Electric officials began the process of restoring power to their customers on Saturday, but as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday about 1200 customers remain powerless. Nearly all are preventive outages, the company said.

Officials said there are 112 crews working as quickly as they can to restore the power. The 500 operational staff are among those inspecting lines, repairing any damage and getting the power turned on.

PGE shut off power for 37,000 customers over the weekend.

The process to turn the power back on also includes getting the substations and feeders, which can take time “depending on the terrain, potential damage to the system and other variables that impact safety,” PGE said.

PGE — Active PSPS info
PGE — Active PSPS map
PGE — Outage map

Areas like Corbett, Mt. Hood and Scotts Mills are some of the last to have power restored.

Estimated restoration times will be posted on their website, officials said.

‘Kind of cozy, kind of chaotic’

At the Corbett Country Market, cashier Alexis Kruger said “it was a little wild in here” because the power was off from 5 a.m. Friday until 11 a.m. Sunday. They operated on a generator and she said they were happy to be able to help the community.

“We had things everywhere, we had a standalone AC over there, we had cords just running everywhere,” Kruger told KOIN 6 News. “We had Christmas lights along our ceilings that we were using so it was a lot darker and kind of cozy in here. It was kind of chaotic.”

Ice was a big seller, she said.

Alexis Kruger is a cashier at the Corbett Country Market, September 11, 2022 (KOIN)
Alexis Kruger is a cashier at the Corbett Country Market, September 11, 2022 (KOIN)

“I would take 10 more weekends like this for no fires, for sure.”

— Alexis Kruger, cashier at Corbett Country Market

“A lot of people were trying to save their freezers and fridges. We sold a lot of batteries, flashlights, and candles, those kinds of things. But we were able to be here for the community as much as we could.”

PGE spokesperson Sarah Hamaker said she and the entire company are very aware not having power is an inconvenience.

“It can be very frustrating to be without power,” Hamaker said. “But this is an effort for public safety, and to just make sure we are protecting our customers, their property and making sure everyone is as safe as possible.”

Pacific Power

Pacific Power spokesperson Drew Hanson, September 11, 2022 (KOIN)
Pacific Power spokesperson Drew Hanson, September 11, 2022 (KOIN)

Pacific Power de-energized 12,000 customers on Friday.

Pacific Power managed to restore all their proactive shutoffs around 5 p.m. Saturday. Spokesperson Drew Hanson told KOIN 6 News the company has prepared for wildfire season for a few years now.

Giving customers a 72-hour notice helped with having a successful power shutoff, Hanson said, a practice the company will continue in the future. It gives customers who live in the affected areas plenty of time to get fully prepared.

“Having those extra tools in our tool kit, with meteorology and the operations and everything else made for a pretty sophisticated but also nimble approach to a public safety power shut off,” Hanson told KOIN 6 News.

Alexis Kruger said she would rather be without power for a weekend than have the fires.

“My mom’s co-worker in Washington, a power line went down and burned her shed down and her backyard, so it’s a very prevalent threat and it’s very real,” Kruger said. “Fires are powerful, it’s scary. So I would take 10 more weekends like this for no fires, for sure.”