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 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
EWEB To Hold First of Two Public Hearings on Proposed 2024 Budget and Prices
At the Nov. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting, EWEB staff will present a proposed budget that includes rate increases necessary to support utility operations and make needed infrastructure investments.Find Out More
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EWEB leads annual "Spill Drill"
October 12, 2023 • Adam Spencer, Communications Specialist
EWEB's Source Water Protection Team led partners in a drill Wednesday simulating our emergency response to an oil spill on the McKenzie River – the sole source of drinking water for 200,000 people in Eugene and Springfield.
More than 40 volunteers from a dozen local, State, and Federal agencies - who are part of the McKenzie Watershed Emergency Response System - answered the call to join the drill. They broke up into five teams, wading through the river and driving rain to practice the deployment of a series of floating containment booms that direct oil and other floating contaminants to a skimmer that would remove it from the river.
Environmental Specialist David Donahue is the lead coordinator for the Spill Drill. Between organizing the teams, and directing the action, he shared that we've thankfully been spared a major spill on the McKenzie since the MWERS was set up in 2001. The partnership has responded to several incidents, however, including single car accidents up and down Highway 126 and a large spill on the Middle Fork of the Willamette.
“The whole system is a great opportunity to build relationships with our emergency providers and responders, understand everybody's capabilities and skills, and then also get a better handle on the type of equipment and resources we have in the community where collectively, hopefully we can all be on the same page if that unfortunate event ever happens,” Donahue said.
Yesterday's drill was also an opportunity to share with regional partners, as observers from the water departments of Salem and Medford joined the drill to consider adopting a similar system to protect their watersheds.
“We would obviously totally support that because the more folks we have trained up on this type of deployment procedure, the better we can share resources, share knowledge," Donahue said. “It's been a great opportunity to not only connect with our local emergency responders, but also expand that outreach to some of our other partners across the state. We had a pretty good turnout from the DEQ, who of course, would be responding to spills throughout the state.”
He added: “You know, we do have a resident Mallard here. It's been here for the last couple of weeks. Doesn't leave. It's been keeping a pretty close eye on us. Very friendly. Our primary objective is to keep oil out of the river because we're a sole-source utility, meaning that the city of Eugene has one source of drinking water, and that's McKenzie River. But by developing strategies and techniques to get oil or diesel out of the water, we're also protecting the wildlife that we all value and appreciate, including that very friendly Mallard Duck.”
Our great thanks to our partners from Springfield Utility Board, McKenzie Fire & Rescue, Willamette National Forest, City of Springfield, Region 2 HazMat Team, Lane County, Lane County Sheriff, and Eugene-Springfield Fire & EMS for braving the elements to stay sharp.
McKenzie Watershed Emergency Response System (MWERS) member agencies:
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Eugene Springfield Fire & EMS
- Eugene Water & Electric Board
- Lane Council of Governments
- Lane County Public Works
- Lane County Sheriff
- McKenzie Fire & Rescue
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Transportation
- Rainbow Water District
- Region 2 HazMat Team
- Springfield Environmental Services
- Springfield Public Works
- Springfield Utility Board
- Upper McKenzie Rural Fire
- US Forest Service
- US Bureau of Land Management
- US Environmental Protection Agency