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Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on Sunday February 14, 2021 - 7:18 PM
 
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PORTLAND, Oregon — Service to 200,000 Portland General Electric customers has been safely restored from the vast devastation caused by the worst ice, snow and wind storm in the past 40 years, which began on Thursday. Although 700 PGE, contract and mutual assistance field personnel from the Northwest made headway against 4,408 power lines brought down by the series of storms, additional damage caused by ice, trees and tree limbs set efforts back by taking out additional power lines and substations. As of 6:30 p.m., approximately 221,000 customers remain without power.

We continue to thank affected customers for their patience in conditions that are uncertain, difficult and scary. The changing storm conditions impact the number and location of outages, and our restoration strategies. As crews work on repairs and restore power to some areas, we are also assessing the full amount of the damage and discovering additional storm-caused damage. Given the extreme situation, the repair effort may take several days before service can be restored to some customers, and some customers could experience multiple outages if weather deteriorates, and as trees and tree limbs succumb to additional weight of thawing ice.

Crews will continue to work around the clock. The number of crews will increase on Monday, as mutual assistance from as far away as Montana and Nevada arrive. Our efforts to aggressively secure assistance will result in doubling our crew size since Saturday, to address 216 miles of damaged transmission lines, substation damage and 4,408 wire downs as we piece together the system that operates and distributes electricity.

We are working to provide accurate estimations about when power will be restored and encourage you to check for updates on our website at portlandgeneral.com/outages, the PGE app for smartphones, by calling PGE at 503-464-7777 or following PGE on social media.

As trees and ice continue to take lines down, people should always assume that any downed line is live and extremely dangerous and should stay far back. Never touch a downed wire with your body or any object. Do not attempt to clear brush and debris away from downed lines and report any downed line immediately to PGE by calling 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795.

Warming centers are open and available throughout our service area. To find a location near you, call 211 or visit 211info.org/em-shelters for listings by county. For customers who have medical needs or other vulnerabilities, 211 can help with transportation, warming shelter information and severe weather resources. Customers with an immediate or emergency medical need should call 911.

About Portland General Electric Company

Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2020, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $5.6 million and volunteered 18,200 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/news.