Winter storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power

Severe winter weather conditions have caused power outages in the Willamette Valley.

Posted: Feb 13, 2021 9:19 PM
Updated: Feb 13, 2021 9:21 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Severe winter weather conditions have blown through the Portland metro area, Columbia River Gorge, Willamette Valley and Southwest Washington this week. As with any significant storm, there have been power outages reported throughout the region.

RELATED: GOVERNOR BROWN DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN WILLAMETTE VALLEY

A deluge of ice and snow fueled by arctic cold and unrelenting winds is causing power outages throughout the northern Willamette Valley, Portland and coastal areas.

Pacific Power crews and contractors are out in force with more than 230 staff now assessing damage and beginning repairs even as the storm continues to cause new outages.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, 33,000 customers are in the process of being restored. Most customers are expected to have service restored by late Sunday, Feb. 14 with some of the hardest hit areas remaining without service into Monday, Feb. 15. The communities with the largest remaining outages include:

  • Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, 9,000
  • Dallas, Independence, 11,000
  • Stayton , Mill City, 8,000
  • Astoria, 3,400

“Our crews are out in the field assessing damage and restoring power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Allen Berreth, vice president of operations. “We appreciate the patience that customers have shown during this outage and we want to remind everyone to stay clear of any down lines you may see. Doing repair work in these conditions is very challenging. Many roads are blocked and lines are still being brought down by ice and snow snapping tree branches. We are often restoring one set of customers only to have another nearby neighborhood go down.”

Pacific Power encourages customers to report outages by calling 1-877-508-5088 or text OUT to 722797. Text STAT to 722797 to check the status of your outage.

Freezing rain left roads, power lines and trees coated in ice in the Portland region. By Saturday morning, more than 1,200 power lines were down, leaving 270,000 people without power.

As of 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Portland General Electric was reporting about 200,000 customers were without power, and Pacific Power was reporting another 25,000 without power.

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