Portland General Electric and Pacific Power are beginning to shut off power to homes and businesses in multiple Oregon counties as winds kick up, increasing wildfire danger.
PGE’s “Public Safety Power Shutoffs” began Friday morning, with power now off in the Mt. Hood corridor and foothills, the Columbia River Gorge, Silverdale/Corbett and Silver Falls, the utility company says.
PGE’s latest estimated power shutoff times for additional communities are:
— Estacada: Around 6:00 a.m. Friday
— Oregon City: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Friday
— Scotts Mill: Around 8:00 a.m. Friday
— Portland West Hills, Tualatin mountains, Northwest Hills and Central West Hills: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Friday
— Southern West Hills: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Friday
A “Public Safety Power Shutoff” is used by utility companies when conditions, such as high wind, are forecast in areas with increased wildfire risk. Power is shut off in those areas to help decrease the possibility that downed power lines could start or worsen a wildfire.
How long will the power be off? PGE says its crews are “standing by, and as weather conditions allow, [they] will begin to physically inspect power lines and equipment and make any repairs necessary to safely restore power.”
The utility companies say they are keeping in touch with affected customers via email, text and social media, as well as through their websites.
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Pacific Power estimates it will shut off power to many customers in Douglas County, Linn County and Marion County around 6 a.m. Friday. Customers in Lincoln County, Tillamook County and Polk County will see power go out around 10 a.m. Friday.
Some 40,000 customers of the two companies could see their power turned off. PGE said it expects power to be restored by Sunday morning, but that timeline could change based on weather conditions and damage to power lines.
— Douglas Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org
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