Thousands without power in Portland as strong winds hit region

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Thousands of people in the Portland metro area woke up to their power shut off Thursday morning as strong winds from a winter storm began to move into Oregon.

Portland General Electric (PGE), one of the state’s major electric utility companies, reported more than 8,000 power outages on its outage map around 11 a.m.

Pacific Power customers are also dealing with power outages, with more than 1,500 in the dark at 8:30 a.m. Most of those power outages were restored within an hour.

RELATED: How to contact your power company in the case of an outage

A downed tree fell on top of lines in Northeast Portland’s Irvington neighborhood, knocking out power for several hours in the area. The power lines stopped the tree from falling on the house and the neighbors weren’t home at the time.

With this week’s ice storm, power companies around the state have been monitoring forecasts and preparing for the possibility of downed lines and trees.

Winds strong enough to blow down trees and power lines may be an issue over roughly the next 24 hours. A Wind Advisory is in effect in the Portland area until 7 a.m. on Friday.

The Portland International Airport reported gusts of 44mph Thursday morning, according to KGW meteorologist Chris McGinness.

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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