PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Power was shut off in the Mt. Hood corridor on Friday where Portland General Electric told customers to expect the outage to last for at least 48 hours.
After shutting off the power Friday morning, the company is operating resource centers where people can get ice, water, charge cell phones and get information about the outages. The centers are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. until power is turned back on.
David Ypparila, who lives in Welches, visited the resource center in the Welches Elementary School parking lot to get information about what is being done about internet and cell phone service.
“If the fire was coming to my house, I couldn’t tell anyone because I don’t have cell service even though I have power,” Ypparila said.
Ypparila said power companies need to “get generators built right next to their towers and they’re plugged in all the time.”
KOIN 6 News also spoke with Coffee House 26 owner Amber Ford, who is trying to figure out how to salvage the shop’s refrigerated and frozen food.
Ford said she is glad PGE preventively shut off power but says being closed through at least the weekend means she will take a big financial hit. She says small businesses in the area could use help from the county or state.
“I feel like there’s not a lot of help for us during fire season. We had a lot of opportunities during COVID to try and get back some of that income and try to move forward, but I feel like it’s times like these we really need help and it’s just not there,” Ford said.
Next door to the coffee shop, El Burro Loco employees are moving most of their perishable food to a generator-powered freezer at another business.
“It would be nice if they could help small businesses during times like this because I totally support shutting the power off but it sucks for small businesses who lose all their product,” Emma Urlwin of El Burro Loco said.
KOIN 6 News reached out to Gov. Brown’s office and Clackamas County officials to see if anything is being done to help small businesses during fire season as well as internet and cell phone service and are waiting to hear back.