According to a press release from the utility, Pacific Power crews and equipment drawn from across the Northwest are concentrated on restoring power to approximately 13-thousand customers in southern Oregon and a thousand in northern California. Deep snow and hundreds of downed trees and limbs strewn across a rugged landscape are complicating the work of more than 100 crews and contractors working around the clock in the area.
They report that "restoration work has been challenging as deep snow is blocking roads, delaying equipment and crews." In several locations, crews have assessed and repaired lines only to have to return and repair again due to continued snow and tree problems. Crews are reportedly making steady progress and expect to continue to restore more customers as the day progresses, even as the prospect of another storm looms.
At this time Pacific Power is unable to accurately estimate when full restoration will occur, due to the ongoing weather impacts. Weather conditions are uncertain and access to some areas is severely limited or some cases completely impassable.
Pacific Power is working with the Red Cross and local emergency management to open emergency warming shelters in areas that could experience extended outages. Shelters are being organized at the city hall in Cave Junction, the Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass and the Sunny Wolf Charter School in Wolf Creek. These centers are expected to open this afternoon. Call the Pacific Power customer line at 888-221-7070 for more details as they become available. The information will also be posted at pacificpower.net/outages.
Crews from Coos Bay, Roseburg, Bend, Medford and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Power system are assisting in assessing damage and beginning repairs. Additional tree trimming crews, flagging crews and other contract line crews are being brought into the area. Snowcats and other special equipment to deal with conditions are also being deployed.
Pacific Power is urging customers to stay safe. Avoid any downed lines. Conserve warmth. Use fires and candles wisely. Do not use BBQs indoors. If using a generator, make sure it is properly wired into your home and that fumes from the unit are vented well away from any living areas.
Call 1-877-508-5088 to report any downed lines.