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Feb-08-2014 20:53printcomments

Pacific Power Crews Set to Work Through Night to Restore Power to mid-Willamette Valley Area

Pacific Power crews set to work through night to restore power to mid-Willamette Valley area; Lebanon area hardest hit by serious combination of snow, ice and wind.

Power pole

(ALBANY) - Pacific Power crews are entering their second night of battling the elements to restore electrical service to customers in the mid-Willamette Valley. More than 7,000 customers are without power in the area due to outages caused by snow and ice covered trees dropping on power lines.

"Access is our biggest issue at this time," said Doug Butler, vice president of operations. "We are able to concentrate our resources on a specific area and we're bringing experienced crews and equipment to the hardest hit areas from less affected parts of the state."

The crew members stationed in Albany have been on the job for nearly 24 hours at this point. Crews have come from Medford, Roseburg, Coos Bay, Klamath Falls and Portland to assist. All together, more 120 crew members are now at work.

"Even with that amount of resources focused on helping our customers, many outages will last overnight and some even into Sunday evening before everyone is back in service," said Butler. "As the freezing rain continues to cause problems, we are restoring power to a neighborhood and then needing to return a few hours later to repair storm-caused damage. We thank our customers in advance for their patience as we work to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible."

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 and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.
* Candles should never be left unattended or used for extended periods. Use a flashlight or other battery-powered lighting source.
* Use a fireplace or wood stove to keep warm. Pay careful attention to fire hazards.
* Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don't use charcoal in your house or garage.
* Never use a barbecue grill indoors. Cook over sterno cans.
* Don't drive over downed power lines.
* Turn on your porch light switch. After crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if lights are on.
* As much as possible, do not open refrigerators and freezers--they will keep food and perishables inside cold for some time if not opened.
* Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Add a hat and blanket to stay warm. Blankets and towels around windows and doors help keep the heat in.
* Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.
* Protect your pipes during freezing weather by wrapping them with insulation. Also, leave faucets dripping so water won't freeze and crack the pipes.
* Generators should be outside or in a well ventilated unoccupied space.
* Make sure generators are properly wired for your home or business, and don't connect a generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. This can create a dangerous back feed hazard for line crews.

Customers and media representatives can also track larger scale outages online. Outages affecting more than 500 customers will be posted on the Pacific Power website as soon as information is available. Updates will be made as new information becomes available. Go to: http://www.pacificpower.net/res/po1.html
and then select the state where the outage is located.

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