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.