Electric Outage: 1-844-484-2300
Water Emergency: 541-685-7595
EWEB Main: 541-685-7000
Eugene’s drinking water received an outstanding performance rating from the Oregon Health Authority.Find Out More
Starting late night Sunday night, an intense windstorm blew over trees and caused just over 2,600 Eugene Water & Electric Board customers to lose power. But EWEB line crews working through the dark hours of the night and early morning promptly restored service for nearly all those customers.Find Out More
Two Eugene Water & Electric Board line crews will spend the New Year holiday weekend through next week restoring power to thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric customers in northeast California after winter storms dumped more than 10 feet of snow in the Lake Tahoe area starting before Christmas.Find Out More
Several hundred customers have been restored, but the smaller outages with five or fewer customers may not be restored until Tuesday or Wednesday.Find Out More
With the National Weather Service predicting snow for the Eugene area Sunday through Tuesday, we want to remind customers that the expected snow could bring trees and branches down onto overhead power lines and cause electric outages.Find Out More
New programs provide customers opportunities to invest in local environment, watershed protection, and future climate scientistsFind Out More
EWEB is offering new programs to help Eugene electrify its transporation sector - tackling our largest source of carbon emissionsFind Out More
Just as high winds with gusts of more than 30 mph arrived in the Oregon Cascades early Thursday, EWEB has completed aerial trimming around its Carmen-Smith transmission line using a helicopter with saw attachments to trim branches and treetops.Find Out More
EWEB, City of Eugene project reduces City Facilities carbon footprint by 16%Find Out More
While world leaders debate climate action, EWEB reflects on our community's climate successesFind Out More
Recent material shortages have EWEB increasingly concerned about our ability to meet timelines for electric and water construction projects.Find Out More
As part of our routine monitoring efforts, EWEB conducted a bathymetric survey of Trail Bridge Reservoir in May 2021 and found unusual depressions. EWEB conducted follow-up inspections with a remotely operated underwater vehicle along with dye testing by divers in early June 2021. Based on the dye tests, the two larger depressions are actively taking water and are considered sinkholes. Subsequent dye testing and geophysical investigations in July and August indicated that there is no concentrated seepage flow through or under Trail Bridge Dam.Find Out More
EWEB Leads "Spill Drill" to test HazMat ResponseFind Out More
Have you ever thought about where your drinking water comes from? What about where your wastewater goes?Find Out More
Unlike for-profit utilities who serve their investors, EWEB and other public power providers are community-owned and do not operate to earn a profit or benefit stockholders. Our prices are based on the costs to serve our community with safe, reliable water and electricity.Find Out More
Watch a video of these testimonies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuUd-K0sFUE
Lara Colley was sleeping at her grandmother's house when an emergency alarm on her phone woke her. She called her partner to help him evacuate their 7-acre farm in Vida.
"We have chickens, we have cats. He was trying to evacuate animals. I was trying to tell him what documents to grab. It was really scary to not be there and to not be in control of the situation," she said.
Most of their forested property burned. They lost all of their outbuildings, but luckily, not their house.
"The neighbors on both sides lost their homes, so we were the only house left on the driveway," she said. "We lost our well. We did not have water for a long time. It was rough. It could have been so much worse."
Another McKenzie resident, Sue McAlister, grew up playing in the creeks and forests near Blue River, just like her grandfather. Their childhoods in nature led them both to become scientists and professors; Sue taught ecology at Oklahoma State University. She and her husband recently retired and had moved back home to take care of Sue's mom.
"You can see the size of the cedar trees they cut down for the World War II effort," she said. "When my grandfather came back from the war, he was devastated. One of the last things he said to me was to ask that I bring back the forest like it was."
Jim Russell, who owns Whitewater Ranch, was hosting guests at his blueberry farm when the fire hit last Labor Day.
"We had a nice, candlelit dinner, and everyone went to sleep. And at about one in the morning, it was like all hell broke loose," he said.
The Russell's house survived the fire, but they lost their new shop, a 100-year-old dairy barn, and 1,400 of the 1,600 acres of timber in their hills above the valley.
"I guess, fortunately, the fire just touched into our blueberries. We lost some plants, but miraculously, the majority of them were okay," he added.
In the year since the fire, Lara Colley has been helping her neighbors recover, working as a Watershed Restoration Specialist with the McKenzie Watershed Council. She spends most of her days surveying properties within the burn zone to administer Pure Water Partners (PWP) restoration programs.
The programs include installing erosion control measures to buffer the McKenzie and its tributaries from hazardous debris, replanting riparian forests, and removing invasive species like blackberries that she says have been reinvigorated by the fire.
"That not only helps from an ecological perspective, because we're controlling invasive species in the watershed, but a lot of them act as fuels so we're creating fire resistance and resilience for the community," she said.
The McKenzie Community School is one of the properties enrolled in the program. Firefighters worked all night to save the school from the fire, and now its administrators are working with PWP to remove fuels to reflect Firewise best practices.
"We're going to continue working with Pure Water Partners and EWEB to make sure we have a place that's safe for students, and we want to make sure we're limiting the number of fuels we have on campus in order to prevent things like this from reaching the campus in the future," McKenzie Community Schools Assistant Principal Brent Meister said.
Lara says it's challenging to spend so much time thinking about the fire, as both a survivor with her own property to repair and as an emissary of PWP. She says she's motivated to help her community prepare for the challenges ahead.
"I don't want to sound alarmist, but we will have more fires. That's probably going to happen. It's not a matter of if, but when," she said. "By having more people prepared and more people thinking about it and more people participating in the program and getting help on their properties I think we're going to be in a better place to face what's ahead."
Lara's dedication to her community brought her out to Jim's farm to check on PWP-planted native trees and shrubs along the McKenzie River and to calculate how much work it would take to remove remnant fuels.
"There would have been no way we could have even addressed it," Jim said. "I've never been through a natural or national disaster. I can now appreciate what people go through and to have a helping hand like that come out to us with something very special."
In the wake of the Holiday Farm Fire, Sue McAlister also brought in the Pure Water Partners team to help mulch slash piles and replant native trees and shrubs.
"They're going to replant, which is marvelous. We have to buy trees for some of the other areas, and then pay people to plant them because we can't plant 5,000 trees by ourselves," she said. "They have that long-term commitment to keeping the property along the river in a good shape so that it is growing and having clean water and stopping erosion. So it's a marvelous program, I think."
The Pure Water Partners can provide these services thanks to a combination of donations, state and federal grants, FEMA disaster relief programs, the Oregon State Legislature, and EWEB water customers through the Watershed Recovery Fee. While many of the properties that burned are private, it's up to all of us to help restore our watershed. Replanting riparian forests is one of the best things we can do to protect our drinking water quality. These young plants will filter sediments, provide shade to keep the river cool, and become habitat for a healthier ecosystem.
Just as Lara, Jim, Sue and Brent may offer their gratitude to the program for its helping hand in this time of need, EWEB and our Pure Water Partners thank them for accepting our offer and spirit of shared responsibility to restore our river.
"Now we have this 'rest-of-our-lives-task' to get this growing again and to leave it in a way that it can be passed on to our children," Sue said.
EWEB is a committed partner in this task. Building on EWEB's presence in the McKenzie Valley for more than 110 years, the utility will continue investing in the upriver community and the watershed for generations to come.
"We are here for the duration," said EWEB CEO and General Manager Frank Lawson. "We are planning for a significant recovery. The additional fire restoration work is intended to supplement EWEB's ongoing McKenzie River Drinking Water Source Protection Program that is part of our responsibility as an organization with a significant presence in the McKenzie Watershed."
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.