PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Storm-related power outages left tens of thousands of customers across Oregon without power on Tuesday.
As of 9:15 p.m., Portland General Electric reported 73,011 customers are in the dark. Meanwhile, Pacific Power says 17,408 customers are without service along with nearly 61,000 Clark Public Utilities Customers.
The widespread outages were sparked by storm force winds that sent trees and branches onto wires all day long.
People KOIN 6 News talked to said they knew power crews were going to be busy when they woke up to hear the winds rattling their homes.
“I mean honestly, I’m from the east coast and this just feels like hurricane weather right now,” said Vincent Seadler, who lives on Southeast 72nd and Foster in Portland.
Neighbors say multiple downed trees on the block are a sign the City of Portland needs to trim and assess the boulevard of broken trees.
The high winds blew debris into power lines, took down trees and damaged high-voltage transmissions.
Pacific Power and PGE reported that the widespread strong winds, ranging from 40-80 miles per hour, challenged their restoration during the day.
But as the winds died down after the sun went down, service crews are working throughout the night to restore power.
Even with hundreds of power crews and aid from California, Idaho and Washington, PGE says it will take a while to assess the damage and restore power.
But for those along Foster weathering the storm, Seadler said “we do keep seeing branches falling off and we’re really lucky nothing has hit a line yet.”
Officials advise community members to stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines and to not drive over them either. If you see a downed line, be sure to notify the power company.