High, potentially dangerous winds are blowing into the Northwest, bringing heavy rain and the threat of power outages. Pacific Power is urging its customers and the public to take precautions to stay safe and comfortable.
The National Weather Service is forecasting the first of a series of strong Pacific storms to begin hitting the northern California and southern Oregon coasts early Thursday morning and then push inland. The strongest of these storms, packing winds up to 80 miles per hour, is currently predicted to come ashore Saturday.
“Storms like this one can cause significant damage to the electrical grid,” said Curtis Mansfield, vice president, operations. “One way we minimize interruptions to your electric service despite the storms is by paying close attention to trees near power lines. In 2016, we pruned 363,000 trees on 5,100 miles of lines investing more than $25 million to remove hazards and make the lines more resilient. Based on experience, we’ve anticipated and prepared for this weather and the outages that could occur by staging crews and equipment strategically so that we are able to deploy them where they are needed when the time comes.”
When outages occur, Pacific Power is ready to keep customers informed of efforts to restore service and get them through an outage.
“We are ready to assist you whenever you need help with your electric needs,” said Barb Coughlin, vice president of customer service. “Before the storm arrives, please visit our website and download our mobile app to report power problems or get real time outage updates. We also have 250 agents on duty so that along with our automated systems we can handle 20,000 outage calls per hour to assist you.”
Download the Pacific Power app by going to pacificpower.net/app.
Every home should have an Emergency Outage Kit that includes the following:
Battery-operated radio and clock
Manual can opener
If a power outage occurs, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check their fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.
To ease the inconvenience of power outages and assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power suggests the following tips and safety precautions:
Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous. Call 911 and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.
Don’t drive over downed power lines.
Turn on your porch light. After crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if lights are on.
Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.
Keep mobile devices charged so that may be used in an emergency. Before anything happens, download the Pacific Power app to your smart device so you can have information readily available.
Pacific Power also thanks customers in advance for their patience during power outages. Crews make every effort to keep outage durations to a minimum and to restore power safely and quickly.
Customers and media representatives can also track larger scale outages online. Outages affecting more than 500 customers are posted on the Pacific Power website as soon as information is available. Updates will be made as new information becomes available or at least hourly at pacificpower.net/outage.