EUGENE, Ore. — While much of the ice is gone, it has certainly left its mark. 5,900 Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) customers were still without power Sunday evening and it could be days before everything is back to normal. EWEB says crews have been working around the clock for at least the last 48 hours and lineman were still out Sunday night trying to restore power to those customers.
First it was the snow. Then it was the freezing rain. Now, while this extreme winter weather in the valley may be on its way out, it’s leaving behind a path of destruction in its wake.
South Hills Resident Eric Mongan says, “It’s exciting out here on Saratoga street. We just moved in yesterday and we lost a tree last night. It was probably about 100 and so feet high and it took out the power lines in the backyard. So, it’s quite the welcome to the south hills.”
EWEB Safety Supervisor Mark Maguire says, “It was a little bit like a war zone with trees breaking and ice falling.”
EWEB crews say the calls started coming in fast Friday night into Sunday morning and they’re still coming in.
“It will take us a number of more days. It’s just a continuing ongoing process, but our commitment is always to have people in the field repairing,” says Maguire, but it hasn’t been an easy process.
Power failures are popping up as quickly as others are taken care of and heavily iced lines and falling trees are also just a part of the problem.
“Not all the lines are adjacent to streets where they’re easier to access,” says Maguire.
With no way to put up lifts, crews spent a good chunk of the day repairing just two lines in the south hills. So they’re asking folks to be patient and understanding, which they say most are.
Mongan says, “It’s not their fault the ice storm and all that stuff so. They’re doing what they do. So, we appreciate it.”
EWEB says their crews are working as fast as they can, but also as safely as they can. As of Sunday afternoon, there were about 100 downed lines throughout the city. Residents still without power are encouraged to prepare to be without power until possibly Tuesday.