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Eugene outage count falls below 800, resources shifting to McKenzie River Valley

March 01, 2019

EWEB and contract crews made substantial progress restoring power to customers Friday, turning the lights back on for more than 1,000 customers.

Starting with more than 14,000 customers out of service on Monday, fewer than 2,500 remained without service as of 6 p.m. Friday. In the Eugene area, fewer than 800 customers scattered across the city are still waiting for restoration, along with about 1,700 McKenzie River residents.  

Four full crews, three assessment teams and several tree crews worked in the McKenzie River area Friday, where damage from the snow storm and falling trees is most severe. The upriver work focused on repairing damaged transmission and feeder lines.  

In Eugene, 11 full crews worked throughout the city to repair the electric system and made substantial progress.   

"Customers have been incredibly gracious and supportive of our crews this past week, despite the long days and nights without power, and that makes a very dangerous and difficult job a bit easier," said Bo Mackey, EWEB Emergency Operations Chief.  

On Saturday morning, we will shift the bulk of resources to the McKenzie River area to restore those customers as quickly as possible. Several crews will remain in Eugene to continue working on the remaining service restorations in town.     

A list of crew work locations will be updated daily. 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.  

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. If a customer is involved in an outage that is isolated to just one home, or your home and a few neighbors, please prepare to be without power for two or three more days.   

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 our 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.   

Customers in close proximity to each other may be served by different transformers, taps and distribution lines. That's why you might be without power, but your neighbor across the street has her lights on. There may also be a problem with the individual line serving your home.  Customers who are still without power, after their neighbors have been restored, should call 1-844-484-2300 to report their outage again. This will ensure their outage is still in our system.   

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