Local News That Matters

UPDATES: PGE says no timeline for turning lights back on in Salem, Feb. 15 ice storm updates

4 months ago

No school for Salem-Keizer students Tuesday; grab-and-go meals suspended

Salem students stuck in the dark don't need to worry about finding a power outlet Tuesday.

Because of widespread power outages across the city, the Salem-Keizer School district is canceling all online classes and in-person activities at local schools for Feb. 15.

The district expects to resume classes Wednesday, according to a tweet.

More than 69,000 Marion County households and 2,000 Polk County households remain without power.

Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch won't be served Tuesday or Wednesday, district spokeswoman Sylvia McDaniel said.

McDaniel didn't immediately have a report on which schools are without power or whether the storm damaged any school buildings.

-Rachel Alexander

4 months ago

UPDATES: Street closures, city advises people to stay out of popular parks

Downed trees at Wallace Marine Park on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Two streets in Salem are closed due to downed power lines, a city park is closed, and dozens of traffic lights are still without power as of Monday afternoon.

Heather Dimke, city spokeswoman, said Southeast Mission Street between Liberty and High streets remains closed due to power lines in downed trees. Commercial Street is closed between Columbia and Market streets because of a low-clearance power line.

There are 40 traffic signals that are still without power.

Dimke said since Thursday Salem’s public works department has handled nearly 1,200 calls for service and logged 653 downed trees and limbs.

The city is asking people to stay away from trees in city parks until they have a chance to evaluate them.

Minto Brown Island Park remains closed because of downed and damaged trees and the city is advising people to stay away from Bush’s Pasture Park as well.

Dimke said stormwater crews started work Monday to clear trees and limbs from the city’s creeks, streams and stormwater facilities. 

-Saphara Harrell

4 months ago

PGE says no estimate for restoring power in Salem

The scene in the MacLeay Road area of south Salem on Saturday, Feb. 13. (Emil Marjan photo)

Portland General Electric can't yet say when the lights will turn on for most of Salem after ice accumulation Sunday overnight caused another wave of outages across western Oregon.

As of noon Monday, more than 69,000 Marion County homes and 2,500 in Polk County were without power, many since Friday night. Customer accounts on the PGE website stopped displaying estimates for restoring service Monday.

“We’re hoping to keep customers updated as quickly as we can, but it’s going to take a lot of time," said Elizabeth Lattanner, PGE spokeswoman. She said the complex nature of the repairs, which involve generating stations, transmission lines and substations, means they don't yet have an estimate.

Across Oregon, 288,000 PGE customers were without power as of 12:30 p.m. Monday, the utility said, up from 221,000 Sunday evening.

Crews from Washington, Montana and California were traveling to Oregon to aid in restoration, Lattanner said. The utility had more than 2,500 people working to restore power, according to a statement Monday afternoon.

Lattanner cautioned falling tree branches may still knock out power for local houses, including some who have already had power turned back on.

“As things melt we will continue to see tree limbs down," she said.

 WHO TO CONTACT:

Tree or road issues in Salem:

Salem Public Works - 503-588-6311 or email [email protected]

Tree or road issues outside Salem in Marion County: Marion County Public Works Department by calling 503-588-5304.

POWER OUTAGE:

PGE: 503-399-7717

Salem Electric: 503-362-3601

LATEST SALEM FORECAST: National Weather Service

LATEST STATE ROAD CONDITIONS: Oregon TripCheck

4 months ago

Locations open in Keizer, Turner, Woodburn to drop off yard debris

Oak limbs litter the back yard of a rural south Salem home on Saturday, Feb. 13. (Brian Hines photo)

Marion County residents with downed trees and branches can bring yard debris to three sites for disposal, the county said Monday morning.

Yard debris is being accepted in Keizer, Woodburn and Turner at the addressed below.

The City of Salem had not yet set up a drop-off location as of Monday morning.

Woodburn – Legion Park: 1385 Park Ave

Keizer – Little League Park: 5245 Ridge Dr. NE Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Turner – Lake Parking lot: 6185 Turner Lake Road

A fourth location in Stayton was closed Sunday night after reaching capacity, the city said on Facebook.

-Rachel Alexander

4 months ago

PGE said restoring power could take several days following “worst ice, snow and windstorm in the past 40 years”

Limbs rest on a pickup truck in the Englewood neighborhood of Salem on Saturday, Feb. 13. (Courtesy/Regina Fischer)

About 72,000 customers in Marion and Polk counties served by Portland General Electric and another 165 Salem Electric customers remain without power as of Monday morning. Repairs could take a “several days,” PGE said in a news release Sunday evening.

In the past couple days, 700 PGE workers have attempted to fix 4,408 power lines brought down by “the worst ice, snow and windstorm in the past 40 years.” Crews from as far as Montana and Nevada are arriving in the state to help, the company said.

PGE said additional damage through downed trees and limbs set the power company’s efforts back by taking out additional power lines and substations. The power company said customers should prepare for multiple outages if the weather deteriorates and more tree limbs crack on to power lines as the ice thaws.

PGE said it has to address 216 miles of damaged transmission lines, substation damage and 4,408 wire downs statewide.

Britni Davidson, member services manager, said there are 165 Salem Electric customers that eight crews are working to restore power to Monday.

She said those members are being reconnected individually because of damage to their homes from large fallen trees. Davidson said a large chunk should have power restored Monday.

So far, 155,000 customers have had their power restored statewide. Customers can check for updates on PGE’s website at portlandgeneral.com/outages, the PGE app for smartphones, by calling PGE at 503-464-7777 or following PGE on social media. 

People should stay away from downed lines and assume any downed line is live and extremely dangerous, PGE said. Report any downed line immediately to PGE by calling 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795.

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.

“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,” PGE said in a news release.

-Saphara Harrell

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