PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept. 8, 2020) — Pacific Power crews, working closely with fire fighters and local emergency authorities, continue to inspect damage and restore service to customers after a devastating wind storm caused power outages throughout the state while low humidity and long term drought conditions set off fires throughout Oregon.
Evacuations are in effect in several communities and Pacific Power is assisting with those actions under the direction of local authorities.
Gov. Kate Brown earlier today invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to direct all necessary resources to the fires raging in several communities in western Oregon.
“This has been a tough time for these communities we serve and care deeply about. From Mill City to Lincoln City to Medford, we stand with our customers and are working hard to help them recover,” said Scott Bolton, senior vice president of external affairs and customer solutions. “We are actively working with local and state authorities to protect residents and safeguard the power grid in threatened areas. And we are pledging to help rebuild these affected communities.”
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, the communities hardest hit by power outages are:
Jackson and Josephine Counties: 13,000
Lincoln County: 12,000
Marion County: 1,000
The outage in Lincoln County is due to damage to the transmission line supplying power to that section of the central Oregon Coast. Pacific Power was unable to access the area near the transmission line during most of the day until fire fighters deemed it safe to do so. The company is now assessing damage and making repairs with service expected to be restored gradually overnight into Wednesday morning.
Pacific Power is encouraging all customers still without power on Wednesday morning to be prepared for prolonged power outages by having on hand adequate food, water and back-up batteries. Forecasts indicate high winds will continue into Thursday, and some restoration efforts could be delayed until the fires subside to ensure safety.
Additional crews and line personnel have been deployed and are assisting in outage restoration efforts, as well as additional customer care agents.
“We make sure we are well-prepared with crews and equipment for severe weather events,” said David Lucas, Pacific Power vice president of operations. “This wind event is impacting thousands of customers across the state and we appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get everyone restored. But we also realize that there is more at stake here than power lines. People are losing their homes and businesses and we urge everyone to be safe and follow guidance from local authorities and be ready to evacuate when ordered to do so.”
- Treat all downed wires as live and dangerous. Customers should avoid downed trees and powerlines as well as keep pets far away from those areas.
- It is important for all customers to report power outages as it assists crews in pinpointing the cause and facilitates restoration efforts. Customers can call Customer Care at 877-508-5088 or Text Out to 722797.