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Crews Deal with Thousands of Outages

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LANE COUNTY, Ore. — Nearly 8,000 Lane County residents lost power in the past 24 hours.

Those outages meant waking up in a cold home, no water for a shower, or maybe no alarm to get up at all.

When a tree at 15th and Main Street fell Sunday night, it took out two circuits. That was the main problem area for the Springfield Utility Board through the night.

“There’s a lot of debris all over the streets, the sidewalks, the smaller little pieces of trees, wind-blown leaves,” said Eric Jones, Eugene Public Works Public Affairs Manager.

Eugene Public Works crews say thankfully it wasn’t too wild a night for them.

“A lot of small damage but fortunately no major tree losses,” Jones said.

The biggest obstacle for the city of Eugene was a large branch on West 10th Avenue and Lawrence Street, but it didn’t affect any power lines. Springfield wasn’t as lucky.

“About 12:15 a.m. we had a tree come down at 15th and Main that slammed into some power lines, took down two of our circuits, which meant about 1,800 customers lost power,” said Meredith Clark, Springfield Utility Board Community Relations.

Most had power restored by 3 a.m.

In the past 24 hours, EWEB had scattered outages in the South Hills and up the McKenzie, but less than 200 in all. EPUD says a total of 4,000 of its customers were without power. Some of its larger blackouts were in the Cottage Grove, Dexter and Fern Ridge areas. Lane Electric had major ups and downs in all of its service areas until 3 p.m. Monday. A total of 1,800 people lost power.

“When you have this much rain and good gusts of wind, it’s a bad combination,” Clark said.

Crews at each utility company are on high alert for Monday night.

“So they know they might be called in at all hours, that’s part of the lineman’s job. They know they’re gonna be working in rain and sleet and snow. Seems to happen in the middle of the night most of the time, and they’re ready for it,” Clark said.

Public Works crews are ready too, but they’re not getting ahead of themselves. Although, they are prepared.

“Large truck equipped with a plow and a sander that’s on standby, we also have two de-icers,” Jones said.

They’re keeping crews focused on leaf removal to prevent flooding, at least for now.

“(We’re) working to get the streets as clean as possible in case we get anymore heavy rain. That’s our No. 1 concern,” Jones said.

Public Works crews did use the de-icers Saturday on bridges and overpasses, which ice over first, so watch out for those. If you notice a nasty tree fall or debris blocking traffic or causing any kind of problem, give them a call.

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