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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Salmon return to revived McKenzie River habitats
September 28, 2023 • Adam Spencer, Communications Specialist
Chinook salmon making their way back up the McKenzie River have found more places to lay their eggs thanks to years of work restoring floodplains throughout the watershed.
This year, the McKenzie River Trust, U.S. Forest Service, EWEB and the McKenzie Watershed Council finished their latest project at Finn Rock Reach, transforming 150 acres of floodplain forest and helping it to become part of the river again.
“The goal is to give the river as much space as we can,” Project Manager John Trimble explained.
The McKenzie River once naturally flowed through multiple channels and wetlands across the entire valley. To make way for development, roads and infrastructure, the river has been restricted in many areas to flow through a single channel. By forcing the river into a single channel, it has more energy and carves deeper into the earth’s surface and the river can become like a firehose. The firehose effect causes further erosion, transports sediments downstream, and leaves wetlands and once flooded areas high and dry. This greatly reduces the amount of spawning gravels available and habitat for young fish who need calmer water and places to hide.
In contrast, the restored floodplain at Finn Rock Reach is a messy, braided maze of logjams and water flowing at different speeds. It looks chaotic compared to an idealized esthetic of a flowing river, but by restoring the natural functions of floodplains, the watershed will become healthier, able to self-regulate with less human intervention, and will be more resilient to natural disasters and stressors of a changing climate.
“Adding large wood back into the system helps to slow water down, gives fish a place to hide, and also provides some complexity so that sediment can drop out of the system. Wood structures made from logs interact with the river to create deep pools, little sandbars, and ultimately really nice spawning habitats for Spring Chinook salmon, and other fish species,” Trimble said.
Part of a long-term vision for restoring the Middle McKenzie River, Finn Rock Reach is one of many completed and planned projects. Working collaboratively across the basin, partners have already restored more than 400 acres between Finn Rock and the headwaters of the McKenzie River.
Kate Meyer, a Fisheries Biologist for the U.S. Forest Service, has been working in the McKenzie watershed for 19 years and on the Finn Rock project since 2019.
“Adding over 400 acres of high-quality slow water habitat for juvenile fish is a significant uplift. We expect to see improved growth, survival, and abundance of salmon, trout, and lamprey in the McKenzie,” says Meyer.
Beyond benefiting fish and wildlife, restoration work offers broad community benefits.
“These large-scale restoration projects help build resiliency for downstream infrastructure,” said Water Resources Supervisor Susan Fricke. “These projects make it cleaner for everybody to be swimming, recreating, and fishing – doing all the things they love to do in the McKenzie – and it also decreases costs at the treatment plant for Hayden Bridge for the water we all drink.”