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Power Outages In Southern Oregon

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Though the storms that rolled through our area on Sunday brought little rain or lightning, the strong winds caused some major problems.

At least a thousand people were without power Sunday in Medford, after high winds knocked trees and limbs into power lines. At least two small fires were sparked due to downed power lines, but crews quickly got them out. In Klamath Falls, over 6,000 people were without power at one point, about 1,500 still didn’t have power by Monday morning; there is no estimated time when the power will be restored.

Strong winds broke a tree and it landed on a nearby power line. Crews responded to a small tree fire on Coker Butte Road, only to find another nearby small brush fire about a quarter of a mile down the road. Medford Fire officials say both are completely cleaned up now.

On Sunday afternoon, crews responded to another power line problem on Kings Highway in south Medford. The tree split in half and when crews arrived, it was hanging from a power line. This caused an outage in that area. For a short time, portions of Agate and Trinity were also closed to traffic in case the tree brought down any additional power lines.

Meanwhile, a local resident eating at Red Lobster in Medford came outside to find an unpleasant surprise: the powerful winds had blown a tree on his car. Fire officials came to the rescue and removed the tree from his car. The damage wasn’t too bad; the man drove his car home afterwards.

In Ashland, about 2,000 people were without power, including several downtown businesses. One of those was Deli Downstairs owner Tedd Garrison. Garrison says his main concern at the time was keeping his deli meats cold. He said he went and bought bags of ice and loaded all of the meat into the refrigerator. Next door to the Downstairs Deli is a cupcake shop that Garrison says decided to have a sale on cupcakes for fear that they would spoil before power returned.

The reason for that power outage was an under-ground primary cable fault, which feeds the electricity out of the substation and to the public. Ashland officials say they have isolated the problem cables and will replace them after they can further investigate on Monday with a full crew.