National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.Find Out More
Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits
EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.Find Out More
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
Stay cool during extreme heat events
With temperatures forecasted to reach over 100 degrees over the next several days, we've prepared some tips and tricks to help you stay cool.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet our servant leader and maker of tough decisions
Karen Kelley, Chief Operations Officer at EWEB, describes herself as a "servant leader," offering support and mentoring to four division managers at EWEB.Find Out More
EWEB establishes multipronged resiliency policy
Disaster recovery and prevention are being embedded in all operations and processes.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the water quality specialist who ensures the safety of Eugene's drinking water
Brenda Casarez began working at EWEB in 2009, collecting samples from all over the water system testing for different contaminants.Find Out More
Wildfire season is here – tips and safety precautions
Temperatures are heating up with weather forecasts anticipating temperatures up to 99 degrees in Eugene and the surrounding areas on the 4th of July.Find Out More
EWEB will close College Hill Reservoir site for Fourth of July
EWEB will continue the annual closure of its College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday. For the past several years, EWEB has restricted access to the reservoir surface around the Fourth of July to ensure people do not set off fireworks which can damage the roof and potentially impact drinking water quality.Find Out More
EWEB and City finalize sale of former riverfront headquarters
The two buildings on 4.4 acres will transformed into Eugene's new City Hall. EWEB and the City signed closing documents and officially handed over the site keys on Tuesday.Find Out More
EWEB begins major water pipeline upgrades
This summer, EWEB is launching several construction water pipeline projects to enhance the reliability and earthquake resiliency of drinking water service for Eugene residents.Find Out More
Currin Substation - the origin of the name
Hugh Currin was hired as an engineer at EWEB in 1923. Later, he became the chief engineer for the utility.Find Out More
EWEB Safety Tip: Celebrate responsibly with balloons
If your graduation celebration involves balloons, make sure they are secured with a weight. Otherwise, they can float away and come into contact with overhead power lines.Find Out More
EWEB programs make electric mobility more accessible
Electric mobility seems to be everywhere these days, but does availability equal accessibility? Here at EWEB we’ve determined that the answer is ‘no’ and are working to bridge that gap through EV car shares, community grants and electric bike rebates.Find Out More
Lead Green annual summary
In Eugene, we take pride in knowing we have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation. Roughly 90% of Eugene's power comes from carbon-free hydroelectric energy. And EWEB has a long history offering robust conversation programs. But we wanted to do more, so we launched Lead Green, a suite of programs for climate innovators looking to support renewable energy and take action on climate change. In the year since Lead Green was launched, we've accomplished a lot we can be proud of.Find Out More
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EWEB Conducts Emergency Outage Drill
October 18, 2019
The weather on Thursday may have been a mixture of sun and rain showers, but inside the EWEB emergency command center, a mock snow and ice storm had caused widespread damage, leaving more than 7,000 customers without service. That was the basis for the utility's annual emergency outage exercise.
The exercise is referred to as a "Blue Sky Drill" because the practice occurs ahead of winter storm season. "We can come in on a regular day, a blue sky day, and work through our outage response so that when a real emergency happens, we're prepared and ready to go to work," says EWEB's Electric Operations Supervisor John Latourette.
The drills help identify gaps in plans and training, develop skills, reveal resource needs and improve internal and external coordination.
In a major event such as the 2019 and 2016 snow and ice storms that struck Eugene, nearly every one of EWEB's 500-person workforce has some role in the restoration effort. In addition to crews working in the field, staff work behind the scenes to develop engineering and restoration designs, keep trucks running, coordinate with city and county agencies, keep our customers informed, and dozens of other critical tasks.
Drills enable employees throughout the utility to test their skills and practice working together in a simulated emergency environment, complete with curveballs such as technology problems that make it hard for customers to reach the utility, and worsening weather conditions that impede restoration efforts.
"Responding to a major event is a complex, utility-wide effort, not something that line crews do on their own," says Latourette. "In storms like 2016 and 2019, it's all-hands-on-deck, and it's critical that we practice those skills and collaboration."
Following the devastating ice storm that struck Eugene in December 2016, EWEB has focused on emergency preparedness and disaster recovery as a strategic priority. Building on lessons learned from that storm, we implemented new processes and procedures to restore power more efficiently and improve the information we share with customers, including an online outage map launched in 2018.
This continued attention to emergency preparedness will aid EWEB in protecting life and property in future winter storms and other potential disasters.