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
Planning for a Future of Reliable, Affordable, Environmentally Responsible Energy
The challenges revealed by Eugene Water & Electric Board’s integrated resource planning process mirror those facing the Northwest.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
EWEB’s heat driven call to conserve energy yields major savings
EWEB is likely to implement similar, formalized “demand response” programs in the future.Find Out More
Please join your neighbors in reducing energy use today
With excessive temperatures and wildfire conditions affecting power generation across the region, EWEB is encouraging customers to safely conserve power.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
Planning for a Reliable, Affordable, Green Energy Future
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson publishes an op-ed in the Eugene Weekly about EWEB's IRP.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the woman responsible for managing our wholesale energy agreements to ensure we meet our customers energy needs
Megan Capper, the Energy Resource Manager at EWEB, began her career working in economics at BPA before joining the power planning department EWEB, ensuring we can meet the energy needs of our our customers today, tomorrow and 20 years from now.Find Out More
EWEB establishes multipronged resiliency policy
Disaster recovery and prevention are being embedded in all operations and processes.Find Out More
Substations – The resilient spine of EWEB’s electric system
The substation redundancy ensures reliable power continues to flow to homes and businesses despite unexpected equipment failures and routine maintenance.Find Out More
EWEB charts energy supply choices for next 2-3 years
After 18 months of study to assess Eugene’s future electricity needs, EWEB has identified next steps to pursue in the next two to three years.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
June 2021 Heat Dome broke records for temperature – but not energy use, EWEB analysis finds
The extreme temperatures from two years ago show the need for EWEB to choose energy sources based on best fit.Find Out More
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EWEB Prepares for Winter Weather Year-Round
November 10, 2022
For EWEB, preparing for harsh winter storms is a year-round responsibility. While we can’t control the weather, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to withstand storms that bring snow, ice and wind to Eugene.
EWEB employs a full toolbox of "grid hardening" strategies, including trimming trees around power lines, replacing older equipment on a regular basis, inspecting equipment for potential problems, and practicing for widespread power outages.
Below are just a few examples of the work EWEB’s electric division does to prepare for winter weather:
If a widespread outage occurs, every employee at EWEB plays a role in response and restoration. From the line workers in the field to customer service agents on the phone, our staff’s ability to react and respond promptly, efficiently, and safely to a winter related emergency is crucial.
EWEB employees prepare and train for winter-related outages year-round, including practice drills that help identify gaps, develop skills, reveal resource needs, and improve internal and external coordination.
The "Blue Sky Drill" is an annual practice ahead of winter storm season. Just as we would in a real emergency event, staff activate a standardized approach to incident management during a mock winter storm scenario. Roles and teams are established for safety, planning, operations, logistics, interagency coordination, and public communication. Each team works simultaneously to coordinate and resolve issues that arise during emergency response. It enables staff to test their skills and practice working together across all departments to handle a large-scale outage restoration.
Inspection and replacement of equipment
One of our grid hardening measures during the summer months is the inspection and replacement of power pole crossarms. During high wind events, the failure of a crossarm could bring down energized power lines and potentially spark a fire. To help reduce that risk our line technician crews identify and replace older or deteriorating crossarms. We also conduct routine system maintenance to keep other electric infrastructure functioning safely and properly throughout the year. Crews regularly inspect electric lines, poles, components, and other equipment, replacing worn or older parts as needed. This work helps keep the system operating during snow, ice, and windstorms.
Winter storms and high winds can bring down distressed trees and branches on power lines that’s why we proactively prune trees and remove brush year-round to help keep the area around our equipment clear. Each year, crews trim more than 300 overhead line miles of vegetation to minimize falling trees and branches to decrease the number and duration of outages.
Electrical Vault Maintenance
Have you ever wondered where the power lines are in downtown Eugene? We have a unique underground electrical network that runs downtown. Each vault is connected to others in the underground system through ducts that run high-voltage cables between transformers.
The infrastructure is highly reliable, but EWEB crews do need to clean the vaults after the fall rainwater carries leaves and debris into the man-hole access points. Before the winter cold hits, EWEB routinely pumps out the debris using vacuum trucks and simultaneously assesses the underground cables with infrared guns that detect temperature variances which may indicate a need for repair.
Our best practices for winter preparation occur throughout the year with a goal of increasing vehicle and equipment uptime in the winter. We winterize our vehicles and prepare our drivers and crews for winter safety. EWEB safety professionals help our crews prepare for winter conditions by providing information about safe driving practices during winter months, additional supplies to be stored in vehicles, such as water, in case they get stuck in the elements, and personal clothing suited to handle inclement weather.
EWEB has prepared our electric infrastructure and staff for whatever this winter’s weather has in store, but we need your help to prepare your home and family for a winter-related emergency.
View the following pages as you prepare for the winter ahead: