Restoring your power
When the power goes out, the Eugene Water & Electric Board's first priority is to
get it back on as quickly as possible. Most routine outages are repaired in less
than an hour, but following severe storms, it can take days to restore power to
EWEB follows a "hierarchy of repair" when restoring power following major outages.
This is based on the idea of first repairing downed transmission and distribution
lines that will restore power to the most number of people, then repairing wires
that serve fewer customers.
Repairing one large transmission line first, for example, can restore power to thousands
of customers, while repairing a small line serving a few people in a neighborhood
often is more time consuming.
In a big storm where limbs and trees have knocked down hundreds of wires across
Eugene, this hierarchy of repair can be frustrating to some customers who have to
wait days for repairs at their home. However, this system is used throughout the
utility industry to get power turned on the fastest to the most number of people.
There are steps EWEB takes to restore power, in order of importance:
Our top priority is to clear downed power lines across streets and to make sure
critical facilities, such as hospitals and public services, have power. This "make
safe" priority often can take 24 hours or more following a major storm.
Making sure generating plants are back up and running is the next step.
Repairing lines that transmit power from generating plants to the local area is
critical. Each repair often can restore power to thousands of people.
Most substations, which convert high-voltage power to use by individual homes and
businesses, usually serve several thousand customers.
"Feeder" lines leading out from substations serve several hundred to more than 1,000
These are lines that extend from feeder lines into individual neighborhoods. They
often serve 20 to 300 customers.
This is the most difficult and time consuming task, and the one that can frustrate
individual customers who have been without power for some time. Often, individual
service lines or a transformer serving only a few customers are out.