East Medford explosion causes widespread power outage amidst historic heat wave

MEDFORD, Ore.– After hearing an explosion just after 9 PM Sunday night, some east Medford residents came outside to find electrical equipment on fire.

Pacific Power is now handling the aftermath of a power outage on one of the hottest nights of the year.

At one point, more than 30,000 homes were without power in Medford, Talent, Phoenix, White City and even Shady Cove. All as a result of the explosion in East Medford.

Drew Hanson, spokesperson for pacific power, says a small piece of equipment failed at the substation, causing the massive failure.

“The first response is to restore power to customers that are impacted. What typically follows after the restoration, there’s an investigation to answer what was the exact cause of this so that we can understand.”

Hanson says early on in that investigation, the cause of the failure is a mystery. He says, however, he’s confident the interruption of power was not caused by an overload of customers running their AC. As for the remainder of this heat wave, he says the company doesn’t expect any heat related interruptions moving forward.

“We’re in a pretty good position to be able to weather any additional load or strain on the system.”

Hanson says, regardless of the temperature or time of year, we all need to be prepared.

“Its always good to have an outage plan. Not just in the summer months, but in the winter months. So whether its high heat or bitter cold, its better to plan ahead and have your outage kit ready.”

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