Electric Outage: 1-844-484-2300
Water Emergency: 541-685-7595
EWEB Main: 541-685-7000
Fourteen full crews worked in the McKenzie River area Sunday, whittling down the number of upriver customers without power to less than 860 as of 3 p.m. With cell service still down in the area, reports from field crews are limited to radio communication, making it more difficult to keep upriver restoration information current. Starting with more than 14,000 customers out of service on Monday, fewer than 920 of our customers now remain without service on Sunday. Most repair work in Eugene is limited to incidents with just a few services out of power. Several smaller teams have spread out across Eugene to continue working these service restorationsFind Out More
In our ongoing efforts to make more information available to customers, we want to share a new tool: the Power Outage Map. The map, accessible at eweb.org/outage, provides the general location of a power outage within EWEB’s service area, along with various details that will emerge as field technicians investigate the cause and determine repair strategies.Find Out More
In partnership with the Bethel School District, we’ll open the first emergency water distribution station at the Bethel Farm on Oct. 6 with a “FILL UP at the Farm” grand opening event. A key component of EWEB’s ongoing initiative to prepare for emergencies, whether earthquake, forest fire or other disaster, is to establish at least five of these geographically dispersed emergency water stations within the next five years.Find Out More
We’re fortunate in Eugene to have an abundant supply of clean, healthy drinking water. But the crisis in Salem is yet another reminder of the need to plan and prepare for a water emergency.Find Out More
As a public utility, it is important for EWEB to be open and transparent with our customer-owners about how we are performing. We put together a Report to Customers looking back at the key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2017.Find Out More
If you have a 72-hour emergency kit and a disaster plan for your family, then you have a great start on emergency preparedness. Here are some New Year’s tips to help you take the next steps to be ready for whatever 2018 may bring.Find Out More
Whether it's ice or snow, windstorms ... or squirrels, you should know what to do when the power goes out.Find Out More
Getting the family together for Thanksgiving dinner? Take some time to talk about emergency preparedness.Find Out More
More than 30 emergency responders from multiple local agencies conducted a live “spill drill” in late October on the McKenzie River above Leaburg Dam. Participants practiced containing a fictitious fuel spill using the McKenzie Watershed Emergency Response System (MWERS).Find Out More
We’re doing our part by making investments to prepare, replace and maintain our community's electric and water systems. Here are some of the ways we work proactively to keep the lights on and the tap water flowing.Find Out More
We are taking steps to prepare for an emergency in our community. The emergency water supply program would include several permanent distribution sites located throughout the community using groundwater wells, as well as mobile water trailers.Find Out More
A fuel tanker was carrying approximately 11,000 gallons of gasoline when it crashed along the McKenzie Highway one mile east of Leaburg on June 13, 2017. While there are a number of potential hazards that could impact our water supply, chemical spills from transportation accidents is one of the highest threats to the McKenzie watershed.Find Out More
A recent water pipeline assessment that relied on a free-swimming acoustic sensor called a "SmartBall" is an example of using innovative, cost-effective methods to maintain our infrastructure.Find Out More
The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded $3.5 million to EWEB in late May to help offset the financial costs of the devastating ice storm that struck Eugene on Dec. 15, 2016.Find Out More
After investing more than $30 million upgrading, expanding and renovating our Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant over the past eight years, we are nearly done with a series of capital improvements aimed at increasing reliability and efficiency at the 67-year-old facility.Find Out More
Following the 2016 ice storm, we applied for grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make resiliency improvements to our electric system to reduce the frequency and duration of storm-related outages in several areas prone to storm damage.
FEMA tightly controls how such grant money is spent, and our distribution engineering staff spent a great deal of time refining the projects and tailoring them to meet the agency's stringent requirements. Those efforts paid off when FEMA approved almost all of the projects in late 2017. Design work started last year.
The agency has thus far approved 15 of the 16 proposed reliability projects, and will fund 75 percent of the cost, estimated to be about $3 million. The final project should be approved later this spring. Click here to view a brochure and map of the projects.
A dozen of the reliability projects will involve reconfiguring older overhead power lines that now have two wires and replacing them with new, higher-capacity cable that requires only one wire. This will also allow for the removal of crossarms, which are susceptible to falling trees and limbs and a common culprit in an outage. Replacement of damaged crossarms is time-consuming and slows restoration efforts. In addition, some lines may be rerouted.
Four of the reliability projects will convert overhead lines to underground service. Some areas where undergrounding will occur include Blanton Road and East 50th Avenue between Willamette and Fox Hollow. We will hold public meetings to explain the projects and gather comments from those in neighborhoods where overhead to underground conversations are planned.
Most of the overhead projects that involve reconfiguring and replacing lines and removing crossarms will begin in the late spring of 2019. The underground conversions will take place in 2020 and 2021.
One of the questions we receive after winter storms damage the system by bringing down trees and overhead power lines is: Why doesn't EWEB put more power lines underground?
The explanation is a bit complicated.
One primary driver in considering overhead to underground conversion is cost. Placing overhead lines underground in established neighborhoods - around existing underground infrastructure such as water/sewer pipes and buildings - is expensive.
The cost to underground a transmission line, which serves thousands of customers, is around $500 per foot. To underground a primary feeder line, which serves several hundred up to more than a thousand customers, costs about $150 per foot.
Those estimates do not include the cost of negotiating easements on private property, nor the cost of the ground transformers that would be required. And it is the customer's responsibility to pay for converting to an underground meter base that connects to the house.
There also is additional cost to repair fences and landscaping after the underground work is completed, and some property owners don't want us digging up their backyards, or placing pad mount ground transformers in their front yards.
By comparison, overhead power lines are much less costly. An overhead transmission line costs about $150 per foot, and an overhead primary feeder line costs about $70 per foot. That $70 per foot drops even further when there are multiple circuits coming off the overhead feeder.
New developments already incorporate underground utilities during construction. When underground lines are installed as part of a new subdivision that is not already encumbered by buildings, streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure, it is much less expensive. Plus, the developer covers those installation costs.
While undergrounding electric lines tends to protect them during ice and snow storms, the lines can be difficult and time-consuming to repair when the underground cables fail.
When considering whether to underground power cables in areas that sustain significant damage when snow and ice bring down trees and lines, we consider the safety and reliability benefits against the costs.
500 East Fourth Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Lobby hours: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.