Portland General Electric (PGE), the utility that provides power to nearly a million customers across Oregon, announced Jan. 22 that it had completely restored power to all its customers who had lost power in the storm that began on Jan. 13.
The storm brought ice, wind and snow to the state and as many as 16 deaths. The causes of death included hypothermia, fallen trees, downed power lines and in one bizarre incident, a fire caused by a stove in an RV that was crushed by a fallen tree that firefighters couldn’t extinguish because the nearby hydrant was frozen solid. It has been described as the worst storm to hit the area in over 30 years.
The storm lasted for nine days and caused multiple outages across the utility’s service territory. PGE reports that a total of 524,600 customers lost power at one time or another during the episode. The largest outage affected 165,000 customers on the first day.
Approximately 1,800 personnel worked to restore power. They battled harsh conditions, including downed trees, icy roads and inaccessible locations. Despite the conditions, they cleared debris and repaired downed lines, damaged poles, substations and transmission equipment.
PGE generates, transmits and distributes electricity in 51 cities across its service territory in Oregon. The utility brought in crews from across the state, as well as from the states of Washington, Idaho and California, to help with restoration work.
PGE reports that restoration work included repairing 23 transmission lines and 14 substations, restoring 69 distribution lines, and fixing 599 transformers, 348 power poles and 1,333 crossarms.