Nine days without power: My ice storm story as an EWEB customer and employee
While beautiful and peaceful, buying a home on the edge of the forest and surrounded by trees has its tradeoffs. Moving “upriver,” I knew there would be more threats to prepare for, including Mother Nature’s seasonal surprises.Find Out More
Preparation and Resilience: How EWEB Maintained Water Service During Recent Ice Storm
Learn about the projects and people that helped EWEB keep water flowing throughout the extreme weather event.Find Out More
EWEB achieves power restoration milestone over the weekend
Crews have so far restored power for 92% of customers who originally lost power at the height of the ice storm.Find Out More
Reenergized McKenzie River Valley transmission lines allow EWEB crews to restore power upriver
On Friday, a majority of EWEB crews tackled power restoration efforts upriver, after federally managed transmission lines were reenergized Thursday.Find Out More
EWEB estimates one week to complete power system restoration
On Wednesday, EWEB crews restored power for about 10,000 customers by repairing large equipment first.Find Out More
Second round of ice and ensuing thaw prompt mass power outages
On Wednesday, all EWEB crews, who have been working nonstop since Saturday, traversed EWEB’s service territory assessing the damage and restoring transmission lines and main power feeders.Find Out More
Power restored at EWEB’s water treatment plant
Crews restored electric power at EWEB's Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant Monday evening, allowing operators to switch off the generators and rely again on the grid. Meanwhile, EWEB crews brace for additional outages amidst second round of ice and during the coming thaw.Find Out More
EWEB crews focusing on restoring electric service for Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant
With more ice forecasted for Tuesday, all EWEB crews are in the field assessing outages and restoring power.Find Out More
EWEB crews making downed lines safe and restoring power across Eugene and the foothills
As EWEB works to restore electric service to customers affected by the ice storm, the customer-owned utility is following established policies and its “hierarchy of repair” to prioritize repairs that restore electric service to the greatest number of customers.Find Out More
Leaburg Decommissioning Action Plan
Plan details next steps through regulatory processes to begin dismantling Leaburg Dam by 2032.Find Out More
What’s ahead in 2024: General manager’s message to EWEB customer-owners
At the start of the new year, we back at accomplishments from 2023 and look ahead at what's to come in 2024.Find Out More
Currin Substation: End of year update
EWEB Engineer Philip Peterson explains what's been happening in the final stretch to complete the substation rebuild.Find Out More
EWEB 2023 year in review
In 2023, EWEB invested in our community with grants, rebates and an array of other programs and measures aimed at fulfilling our core values of safety, reliability, affordability, environmental responsibility and community/culture.Find Out More
EWEB Recognized with Excellence in Communications Awards from American Public Power Association
We are proud to have been recognized with two Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards for 2023 from the American Public Power Association (APPA).Find Out More
Let's talk turkey. If a disaster strikes, is your family ready?
Many of us avoid discussing politics over the dinner table in the spirit of family peace and harmony. But here's a topic that can bring everyone together: emergency preparedness.Find Out More
- Show More
EWEB Begins Workforce Re-entry
May 21, 2020
As our community moves toward recovery from the health and economic crises of COVID-19, EWEB is beginning a gradual and responsible return to our facilities.
Since mid-March, when Governor Kate Brown first issued state-wide shelter-in-place orders, only a fraction of EWEB employees have been working in the office or field at any given time, and under strict physical distancing and hygiene protocols.
For the past two months, the utility has been operating under what EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson calls a "RESPONSE" phase to the pandemic.
- Employees have been working from home or on staggered shifts to limit potential virus transmission.
- Some work has been modified or reduced. For example, planned maintenance on the electric and water systems was cut back to limit disruptions to customers who are at home more due to teleworking or school and business closures.
- To keep important work moving forward, many public meetings and events have gone online, including our April and May Board of Commissioners meetings.
- And with the closure of our lobby, our customer service staff have transitioned to providing services exclusively over the phone or online, while supporting an unprecedented volume of billing and payment assistance requests.
"In the initial RESPONSE phase, our focus has been the physical safety of the workforce, keeping projects moving forward, and continuing critical customer services," said Frank Lawson. "I'm proud of how the organization has responded to protect the health and wellbeing of the workforce and the public."
Now, as our community begins a slow and steady re-opening process, EWEB is preparing to transition from a RESPONSE phase to a REINTEGRATION phase. Since EWEB has remained open throughout the pandemic under modified conditions, REINTEGRATION is focused on a gradual and responsible return of the workforce to facilities, in the context of state and local guidance.
"We are monitoring evolving health and social directives, workforce and community health conditions, and our organizational readiness," said Frank. "If conditions improve, we will continue to reintegrate; if they decline, we will reevaluate, pause, or retract."
New pandemic safety policies have been implemented, including:
- All employees are required to practice social distancing in the workplace (office or field).
- EWEB workers will be required to wear masks in common areas like parking lots and conference rooms, and when working in close proximity (less than six feet) to other employees or the public.
- Employees will travel in separate vehicles to job sites.
- Trucks, equipment, and workspaces will be disinfected at least once per day.
Similar to the State of Oregon's approach, EWEB's workforce will reintegrate in three phases that may take months. The first phase began this week, with a focus on returning electric and water field crews to full strength. Over time, we will reintegrate office staff who have been telecommuting, and the final phase will be a mix of a facility-based and remote-based workforce.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything for our community, except the need for reliable power and water at affordable rates," said Frank Lawson. "In order for EWEB to continue to provide essential services, we must reset and adapt our workforce to new conditions."
For everyone's health and safety, please be sure to maintain appropriate physical distancing of six feet if you happen to encounter EWEB crews in the field.