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Power Restoration Efforts Move Into High Gear

February 26, 2019

Crews working to restore power brought down by trees

Eugene Water & Electric Board and contract line crews made significant progress restoring power overnight Monday and into Tuesday, with more than 6,300 customers returned to service.

As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, there are about 7,600 EWEB customers without service, down from more than 14,000 without power at 5 p.m. Monday.

There are 15 full crews, five two-person teams, four triage crews and eight assessor squads working in the field Tuesday, assisted by eight tree crews.

The focus of the Eugene-area crews is to restore major feeder lines. The remaining damaged feeders are located in the south and southeastern parts of the city. Crews working in the McKenzie River Valley are concentrating on repairing several sections of the damaged transmission lines that parallel Highway 126.

Some customers in the Eugene service area, primarily in south and southeast parts of the city, should prepare to be without power for another 48 to 72 hours, assuming weather conditions do not deteriorate further.

Many customers in the McKenzie River Valley could be without service through the end of the week due to the devastating amount of tree damage. Seven crews will work upriver overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday.

We follow a "hierarchy of repair" when restoring power during major outages. This system is used throughout the utility industry to restore the highest number of people as quickly as possible.

The order of priority means first repairing downed transmission and major feeder lines that will restore power to the most number of people, then we focus on repairing smaller distribution lines that serve fewer customers.

Repairing one large transmission line, for example, can restore power to thousands of customers, while repairing a small "tap" line that serves a few people in a neighborhood often is more time consuming. The repair of the individual service line that provides power to a single home is often last on the restoration priority list.  

We've also doubled our phone line capacity, so while customers may have had trouble reaching us earlier, we are now able to handle higher call volume.  If you are without power call 1-844-484-2300, or text OUT to TXEWEB (893932). Please follow all prompts so the outage is recorded and placed on a restoration plan.

Customers without power may want to contact family and friends to make arrangements to stay overnight if possible. If you have elderly neighbors without power, please check on them.

Customers can follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@ewebutility) for up-to-date information, or  check the status of current outages with our outage map:  

Please remember that safety is the first priority in any prolonged outage. There's no way to know if a downed line is energized, so play it safe and keep your distance. If you see a downed power line, assume it is live and stay away. If the downed line is across a street or sidewalk, call 911.