PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Power outages in Oregon were the worst in the U.S. on Tuesday, according to a website that tracks power failures across the country. Tens of thousands of people woke up in the dark, as strong winds and heavy rain from a storm hit Oregon.
The website, Poweroutage.us/, collects and records outage information from utility companies. The website listed Oregon in the number one spot for number of customers affected by power outages, followed by Washington and California.
Downed trees and power lines have been reported around the Portland metro, the Interstate 5 corridor and parts of the Oregon coast.
Portland General Electric reported more than 2,600 active outages affecting over 114,600 customers, as of 2:20 p.m.
Around the same time, Pacific Power reported 672 power outages in the state, affecting more than 33,850 people. Pacific Power said it has mobilized 250 personnel to assess and repair damage caused by the winds.
The widespread power outages come on the heels of an ice storm that arrived to the region last Thursday and brought down trees and power lines, and left thousands of people in the dark.
Wind warnings and advisories
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory for much of the Portland-Vancouver metro and the I-5 corridor. The advisory remains in effect until 7 p.m. on Dec. 27. The winds could reach up to 45-55mph and the highest threat for strong south winds will be in the morning, according to KGW meteorologist Rod Hill. Salem reported south gusts nearly 50mph early Tuesday morning, Hill said.
The NWS has issued a High Wind Warning for parts of the north and central Oregon coast. The warning will also remain in effect until 7 p.m. Southwest winds gusts could blow up to 55-75mph.
Safety around downed power lines
Here are some tips from utility companies on staying safe around downed lines:
- Always assume a power line is live and energized
- Move at least 50 feet away (about the length of a school bus) from any downed line
- Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object
- Avoid touching anything that is in contact with a downed power line including water or metal
- Don’t drive over a fallen power line
- If a line falls on your car, stay in your vehicle until the line is de-energized
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