Winter weather causes power outages across southwest Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. – *UPDATE* — Thousands of residents across southern Oregon are without power after the recent winter storm brought large amounts of snow to the valley floors. The bulk of the outages are in Josephine County near Merlin, Wilderville, and Cave Junction.

As of Thursday evening, Pacific Power says some customers should prepare to have power out through the weekend. However, the company has called in more crews from outside the area to try and help speed up the process.

The latest figures from the company show at its peak approximately 18,000 customers were affected by the outages. At around 5 p.m. Thursday, those figures dropped to about 16,000. Pacific Power says these outages were caused by high-density snow that brought down trees and tree limbs.

Pacific Power Regional Business Manager Christina Kruger says that the company is prepared for these types of events and does provide mitigation work such as clearing trees away from nearby power lines. However, she says there’s only so much that can be done.

“If we start to find out that there is going to be possibly an event we work with NOAA and other groups to keep on top of that,” said Kruger. “But during the event itself, it’s almost like you kind of have to hold tight. The best we can do is try to put resources in the area exactly where we think it will hit.”

Pacific Power says it’s in communication with cities and counties of affected areas. It asks that you check in with neighbors and if outages continue, check with your local city or county about warming shelters or support.

While the outages persist,  the company is also urging caution to those near any downed power lines.

“Please make sure that you have some situational awareness. Make sure that you’re safe, don’t go near any downed lines, please don’t assume that they are de-energized,” said Kruger. “It isn’t always apparent that maybe a worker is down the way getting ready to flip the switch essentially when you’re near a line.”

Pacific Power can notify you when your power is back on or when it might be expected to return. Just call the customer service line at 1-800-221-7070 and leave the phone number you’d like to be reached at.

The Red Cross is also opening shelters for individuals and families affected by the power outage. If you are in need of shelter, you’re encouraged to simply show up at the shelters for help.

Illinois Valley High School
625 East River
Cave Junction, OR

Josephine County Fairgrounds Arts Building
1451 Fairgrounds Rd.
Grants Pass, OR

For information on what to bring to a Red Cross shelter, please visit RedCross.org.


(1/16/19 9:33 a.m.) MEDFORD, Ore.– Thousands of customers are without power in southwest Oregon due to a winter storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning and Advisory for Thursday, January 16, 2020. The warning is expected to continue through 4:00 p.m. with more snow and high winds in the forecast.

At 4:16 a.m. Thursday, Pacific Power said about 7,300 customers were without power. Crews were dispatched to help restore power. By 9:05 a.m., crews were actively working at locations where fallen trees and limbs damaged power lines.

Pacific Power said they apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

For updates, text STAT to 722797 or visit http://www.pacificpower/outage

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