EUGENE, Ore. - Crews are now working to restore power to neighbors as repairs to damage caused by Saturday's ice strom continue, Eugene Water & Electric Board said.
The majority of customers who lost power Saturday have service again. Power should be restored to all customers by Tuesday or Wednesday, the utility said.
As of 10:20 a.m. Monday, crews had restored power to all but 1,400 customers, EWEB said.
“We understand that some of our customers who are approaching 48 hours without power are frustrated, and they have a right to be,” said EWEB General Manager Roger Gray. “But people need to remember that we just went through an unprecedented ice storm that brought down thousands of trees and branches.”
Late Saturday night, as ice-covered trees were still falling onto overhead power lines, nearly 6,000 EWEB customers were without electric service.
EWEB crews focused initially on reports of downed power lines. At one point, EWEB had a list of more than 150 downed lines, the utility said.
More than half of those reports turned out to be downed telecommunication and cable lines, which don’t pose an electrocution hazard, EWEB said. Crews responded to most of those reports to verify the downed lines weren’t energized power lines.
Crews have repaired all of the major feeder lines that distribute power to large sections of the city.
With those primary feeders now online, the majority of customers who lost power in the ice storm now have electric service.
Crews are now concentrating on the smaller distribution lines that provide electricity to specific neighborhoods, EWEB said.
EWEB said crews will spend Monday concentrating on neighborhoods that have the highest number of customers without power.
As those neighborhoods are restored, crews will shift to street-level repair activities that restore one to three blocks at a time.
Single homes and businesses without power because the service line from the street to the house is down will be among the last restored.
“We’ll restore a lot of the outages today, but there will be some single homes throughout the service area that we won’t get to until Tuesday and maybe even Wednesday,” Gray said.