Pacific Power says 3,000 remain without power in Josephine County following storm

Electrical and tree crews were working into the weekend to clear debris and fix downed power lines.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 5:03 AM
Updated: Jan 19, 2020 2:58 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Pacific Power says that they restored service to approximately 3,000 customers throughout Saturday as crews continued to make steady progress clearing downed trees and making repairs.

Pacific Power says approximately 3,000 customers remain without power.

Good weather will help aid restoration efforts today of the over 300 Pacific Power personnel who are working in the area.

UPDATED: 10:36 a.m. 

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Pacific Power says that it is still working to restore power for about 6,000 customers in southern Oregon on Saturday.

Beginning early in the morning on Thursday, there were hundreds of separate outages in Oregon, affecting more than 18,000 Pacific Power customers in Southern Oregon alone for much of the day. Most of the outages were in Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Rogue River and surrounding areas. 

In California, Pacific Power reported outages in Gasquet, Happy Camp, and Dunsmuir. About 100 customers between Happy Camp were and Gasquet were without power, plus about 600 between Dunsmuir and McCloud.

California Highway Patrol also reported power lines down on Highway 199 near Gasquet.

In Curry County, Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative said that most the of Agness community was without power. Trees fell on the main line serving the area. Crews had been working through the night. There was no estimated time for restoration.

By Saturday, Pacific Power said that more than 300 power crews and contractors were working "around the clock" on the hundreds of remaining outages. Over Friday night, the company said that it had restored power to about 1,900 customers.

"Crews have made steady progress during the night and expect to continue to restore more customers throughout today and into the evening," the company said. "Restoration efforts have been hampered by the sheer number of outages spread across vast, difficult to access terrain and hundreds of felled trees."

Pacific Power estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 customers could be restored by Saturday, but said that some customers could remain without power into next week.

“We know our communities are shouldering the storm’s aftermath,” said Christina Kruger, Pacific Power’s regional business manager. “We are working with local agencies and the Red Cross to try to ease that stress and appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to get power back on as safely and quickly as possible given the challenges we can all see out there. If you know of any specific areas that are hard hit and isolated, let us know.”

The Red Cross and local emergency services had warming shelters set up by late Thursday night for those who were experiencing extended outages. The shelters, which provide warm beverages and an opportunity for people to charge their phones, are open at the following locations.

  • Illinois Valley High School: 625 E River St, Cave Junction, OR 97523
  • Josephine County Fairgrounds, Pavilion Building: 1451 Fairgrounds Road, Grants Pass, OR, 97527

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 any lights are still out
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.
  • If you have power at this time, 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.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Remember your pets! Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.
  • If you are using alternate heat or cooking sources, remember to allow plenty of ventilation. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
  • If you are using a generator, make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the generator is outside and not near any household air intakes. Do not connect the generator directly to your breaker box as this can create a dangerous situation for crews working on the powerlines. Instead plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

You can check out the outage map on Pacific Power's website. You can text "OUT" to 722797 or call 1-877-508-5088 to report an outage. 

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