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Crews Make Significant Progress Restoring Power Thursday

February 28, 2019

Line crew repairs overhead power line

EWEB and contract crews made substantial progress restoring power to customers Thursday, turning the lights back on for several thousand residents impacted by the snow storm that struck Sunday night.

Starting with more than 14,000 customers out of service on Monday, less than 4,500 remained without service as of 5 p.m. Thursday. In the Eugene area, about 2,800 customers are still waiting for restoration, along with about 1,700 McKenzie River residents.

All hands were on deck again Thursday, with 15 line crews, five two-person teams, three triage crews and nine assessor squads working in the field, assisted by 10 tree crews. In Eugene, 11 full crews worked throughout the city to repair the electric system. Four full crews and six assessment teams worked in the McKenzie River area, where damage is most severe. The upriver work focused on repairing damaged transmission and feeder lines.

The majority of crew and restoration resources will continue to focus on the Eugene area on Friday with the hope of reducing the outage count down to a few hundred. A list of crew work locations will be updated daily and can be found and downloaded here. If a customer believes their home is in one of the posted areas, and they are still without power, they should contact our outage reporting line at 1-844-484-2300.

Eleven crews will be working in Eugene tomorrow, and we now project that most in-town residents will be back in power by late Friday. On Saturday, we will shift the bulk of resources to the McKenzie River area with the hope of restoring those customers as quickly as possible.

Customers still without power may want to contact family and friends to make arrangements to stay overnight if possible. If you have elderly neighbors without power, please check in on them. Lane County has launched a call center for non-emergency inquiries related to winter weather.  Please call (541) 682-3977 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. for assistance.

As the large outages are repaired, customers should know that the repair of the service line that provides power to a single home is often last on the restoration priority list and is the most time-consuming to repair. A crew might spend the same amount of time restoring power to a few customers as it takes to restore power to several hundred customers.  

To speed up your restoration process, check to see if there is damage to your weatherhead or meter base on your home. If you find damage, contact a licensed electrician and then have the electrician provide a supervisory letter to EWEB when repairs are complete.

During large-scale outages, it's possible that a customer's incident may appear to be resolved in EWEB's outage management system when the residence is actually still without power. A triage team will be on patrol overnight to check on areas where this potential exists. Customers should leave a front porch light on for us so staff can see that their power is on.

Any customers experiencing flickering lights or partial power should contact us via the outage reporting line at 1-844-484-2300. Those experiencing "brownouts" should turn off their main breaker and also contact us.