Winter Storm Wipes Out Power

, Posted: Tue, March 13 2012 at 11:57 PM, Updated: Wed, March 14 2012 at 12:12 AM

  Severe weather Tuesday morning packing heavy winds and snow, powerful  enough to knock out power to thousands of homes from Medford to Butte Falls and beyond.  But the massive outage caught some off guard.  That's why experts recommend making a plan before you're in the dark.  NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh reports.


The street lights may be  shining near Mcandrews Road in Medford tonight, but that wasn't the case this morning.  More than 2300 customers in the Roxy Ann area were without power before dawn and through much of the day.  The power was restored as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Fierce winds and heavy, wet snow forced school delays and closures, but it also wiped out power to nearly 10,000 Pacific Power customers in our region.  A total of 2,800 customers lost electricity  in parts of Medford, 280 customers in Eagle Point, 450 in Butte Falls.
But Coos Bay was the hardest hit with 7,000 customers on the South Coast without power.

"We get some fires from these storms from people who burn candles," says Medford Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg.

Kleinberg says the biggest mistake people make during a storm is not being prepared.

He says think ahead, what you'll need to have light.  But he warns never warn a generator indoors.  That will build up carbon monoxide and fumes.  He also warns not to bring in a camping stove or use your gas oven to try and heat the house.

And when it comes to illuminating your surroundings, the Fire Marshal says if you have to use candles, make sure they're never left unattended.

Pacific Power says it's best to put together an outage kit including bottled water, ready to eat foods, battery operated radio, flashlights, blankets and a first aid kit.

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