Portland, Ore. (Dec. 27, 2022) — Beginning early today, strong, sustained winds began causing storm-related power outages across PGE’s service area, with approximately 104,000 outages at 4:00 p.m. today.
“These winds are blowing debris into our lines, taking down trees and damaging high-voltage transmission lines,” said Dale Goodman, PGE director of utility operations. “The sustained winds make it challenging for crews to safely work in bucket trucks and on high wires, where we are seeing the impacts of the winds on our equipment.”
Even with more than more than 600 PGE personnel and contract crews on hand, and with more mutual aid crews on the way from California, Idaho and Washington, it will take some time to assess damage, make repairs and restore power because of the extent of the damage and the strong, sustained winds expected to continue through the afternoon.
“We know it’s difficult to be without power, and we thank our customers for their patience as our crews work as quickly as safety allows to restore power,” said Goodman. “We recognize that some of our customers who are without power experienced outages during last week’s severe weather. Others may experience multiple power outages today as we make repairs, and the wind causes new damage.”
Here are some tips to help stay safe during storms:
Electricity is invisible — lines don’t have to spark or sizzle to carry electricity. Even if the line looks insulated (such as cables or phone lines), always assume that downed lines are live and extremely dangerous. Never touch downed wires with your body or any object. Stay as far away as you can — keep kids and pets away, too.
Report any downed lines to PGE immediately at 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795. Call 911 if other public safety issues exist, like fire or traffic problems.
If someone comes in contact with a downed line or is using equipment that touches a power line, do not attempt a rescue. Call 911 immediately and wait for emergency personnel.
If a power line falls on your vehicle with you inside, remain calm. Assume the line is energized; call 911 and stay inside the vehicle unless there is immediate danger of fire or other injury. Warn others not to come in contact with the vehicle. If a person is forced to leave the vehicle while it is in contact with a power line, they should jump as far as they can and land with both feet together, then shuffle or hop with both legs together away from the vehicle. Be sure no part of their body touches the car and ground at the same time.
Use safe cooking, heating, and lighting practices during a power outage. Information on safe generator use and other safety tips are available on PortlandGeneral.com/Safety.
Stay away from substations and the electrical equipment inside; they contain high voltage.
Water and electricity should never be mixed. Don’t touch anything electrical if it’s wet or near water and stay out of water near electrical equipment.
If experiencing an outage, please be patient and know crews are attempting to fix the issue as quickly as safety allows. Winter weather is unpredictable, so PGE encourages customers to be prepared for outages that may last for an extended period. PGE offers several ways to get updates or report an outage:
Text updates: Log into your PGE account or call PGE’s Customer Service team at 503-228-6322 or 800-542-8818 to make sure PGE has your contact information so we can update you with outage information via text message (outage texts are currently available for residential and small business customers with fewer than six accounts).
Online: Go to portlandgeneral.com/outage to view PGE’s outage map.
Phone: Call 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795 to report a power outage or downed line through our automated system. Customers can also request a call back when power is restored.
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For more than 130 years, PGE has powered the advancement of society, delivering safe, affordable, and reliable energy to Oregonians. PGE and its approximately 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE is committed to achieving at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2040. In 2021, PGE became the first U.S. utility to join The Climate Pledge. For the ninth year in a row PGE achieved a perfect score on the 2021 Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. In 2021, PGE, employees, retirees, and the PGE Foundation donated $4.8 million and volunteered 15,760 hours with more than 300 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/news.