PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In Portland’s West Hills, power was shut down Friday afternoon to thousands of homes and businesses as winds kicked into high gear during a red flag warning.
Homeowners in the Southwest Portland neighborhood were warned about power possibly shutting down Friday morning, and power crews began turning it off starting after 12 p.m.
Neighbors tell KOIN 6 News the warnings helped them prepare to live without power for a few days, although some told KOIN they were going to a hotel.
Residents in the West Hills said they are used to frequent power outages in the winter due to ice and wind storms, but Friday’s shutoff is the first time one has happened in the summer on purpose.
Several businesses in the neighborhood also had to shut down once they lost power. This part of Portland, which is near Forest Park, has several very narrow roads, making fire truck access difficult as well.
Red flag warnings are in effect across much of Western Oregon and Washington as a windstorm takes aim at the Pacific Northwest, increasing concerns about wildfire conditions during the late summer period. Tens of thousands of customers across Oregon are expected to lose electricity during these planned power shutoffs, with community resource centers set up and officials urging residents to prep emergency kits.