Finish line in sight: 'The ice storm outage will be declared over'

Finish line in sight: 'The ice storm outage will be declared over'
EPUD crews work to repair powerlines in the wake of the February 8 ice storm

EUGENE, Ore. - Crews expect to have power restored to all Eugene Water & Electric Board customers by Friday evening, just under a week after an ice storm brought trees down on lines across the city.

About 200 EWEB customers remained without power as of Friday morning. By 1:15 p.m. Friday, that number was down under 90.

At the peak of the outage, 6,000 EWEB customers were without power.

Springfield Utility Board had 5 customers left without power due to the ice storm. Another 34 customers are without power awaiting electricians to complete work on private property.

"We expect them to be restored by 4:30 today," SUB said Friday morning. "Once the 5 are done then the ice storm outage will be declared over."

The Lane Electric Cooperative outage map showed 4 customers without power midday Friday.

Emerald PUD said it still had customers without power in Elmira, Alvadore, Junction City, Marcola, Jasper, Pleasant Hill, Creswell and Cottage Grove.

"The last few hundred restorations after a major storm typically are the most labor intensive and time-consuming," EWEB said in a press release. "Earlier in the week, crews might have spent three or four hours restoring 150 to 300 customers in a specific neighborhood. As restoration efforts gain momentum, a crew might spend the same amount of time reconnecting electricity to one or two customers."

EWEB and EPUD also changed course on posting workplans on EWEB.org and social media sites, concerned that thieves might be using the sites to locate unattended homes.

"Instead of using social media or our home page, EWEB is contacting all customers with a known outage by phone today," the utility said Friday.

"Depending on the severity of tree and other damage, there is a slight possibility that a
handful of customers many not have power restored until Saturday."