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 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
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
EWEB’s water infrastructure projects designed for reliability during major disasters
As communities nationwide Imagine a Day Without Water, EWEB strives to ensure such a day never happens.Find Out More
Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter storm season
Winter is coming, which increases the likelihood of storm-related power outages. It's important to be prepared, and there are simple actions you can take right now.Find Out More
EWEB programs reflect community values
EWEB is here to serve our customer-owners and provides programs that reflect the values of our community.Find Out More
EWEB Prepares for the Annual Observance of "Imagine a Day Without Water"
Water infrastructure is essential, invaluable, and in need of continuous investment. Read how EWEB's Staff and Board of Commissioners are working to safeguard Eugene's water future.Find Out More
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
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
EWEB establishes multipronged resiliency policy
Disaster recovery and prevention are being embedded in all operations and processes.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 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
Every Week is Infrastructure Week
National Infrastructure Week (May 14-20) may be a politically charged quip on the national stage, but for EWEB, the urgency and importance of infrastructure is no joke.Find Out More
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EWEB Crews Head to California to Help Restore Power
January 01, 2022
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.
PG&E reached out to EWEB and other Pacific Northwest utilities for help after the heavy snow brought down thousands of trees, power lines, and power poles, which severely damaged the electric system in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
PG&E estimated more than 65,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm, but the frequency of restorations is increasing as more utilities arrive to provide mutual aid. The EWEB crews and equipment are based in Placerville, Calif., about 90 minutes west of Lake Tahoe, and 90 minutes northeast of Sacramento.
In Placer County, about 7,400 customers are still without power, and in neighboring Nevada County, there are more than 16,000 customers without power. Crews report that many roads are impassable due to heavy, wet snow and the many downed trees.
EWEB crews left for California on Thursday morning and arrived late that evening. On Friday, the nine line technicians from Oregon started repairing the damaged pole, cross-arms and transformers, in addition to putting power lines back up in the largely rural area.
“There comes a time in the history of all utilities when we are in need and when we are needed,” said Karen Kelley, chief operations officer for EWEB. “We are proud to be able to respond in times of crisis like what is happening now in Northern California.”
Kelley noted that several crews from Oregon and Washington helped EWEB restore power to customers in 2019 after a February snowstorm brought down hundreds of trees and left thousands without power, and also following the 2016 ice storm that caused power outages for 20,000 customers.
“We are also eternally grateful to receive assistance like we did in the snowstorm of 2019 and the ice storm in 2016,” she said. “We will continue this proud tradition whenever our time and resources allow.”
Before agreeing to send the two crews along with a general foreman and equipment, EWEB managers first reviewed weather forecasts and determined there was little chance of damaging snowfall over the next week. Once the two crews assembled from volunteers were headed to Northern California, other line technicians stepped up to be on-call through the holidays to make sure EWEB customers who may experience a power outage could be quickly restored.
Under pre-existing mutual aid agreements, the requesting utility will pay for all labor, transport, equipment, travel, food and lodging costs incurred by EWEB crews.
EWEB crews have responded to several calls for aid from PG&E over the years, most recently following the devastating Camp Fire, where they helped rebuild the electric system in Paradise, Calif.
The crews expect to remain in Northern California through Jan. 6, unless more snow falls.