Portland West Hills brace for possible power shutoff

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 5:28 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - While they feel the inconvenience of a power shutoff, one Portland neighborhood knows it’s part of preventing devastating wildfires.

According to Portland General Electric, the West Hills area is one part of the city that could likely lose power Friday if conditions are bad.

Sally Kneuven lives off Barnes Road south of Burnside and Skyline, and has owned her home for over two decades with her husband. She said she’s stocking up on ice for her refrigerator and freezer should the power go out, and planning ahead for her telework from home that day.

“I’ve notified my coworkers from out of state that I may not be available, may not have power,” Kneuven said.

Kneuven said her backyard and others’ around her have been left in their natural state to blend in with nearby Forest Park, so there is a lot of vegetation that could fuel a massive wildfire. So she said she’s happy PGE is getting ahead and warning people of power shutoffs.

“Absolutely glad they are letting us know,” Kneuven said. “I run on the trails on Forest Park every day and it’s very dry out there. And with the wind and a spark it wouldn’t take much to ignite this massive amount of forest.”

Kneuven has taken as many precautions as she can to fire-proof her home, and is making sure she and her husband are ready to handle a power outage. She said that given her years living in the Pacific Northwest, she feels now more than ever that power shutoffs to prevent fires are becoming more common.

“You hear about them in California, we’re having the same kind of weather patterns and we do need take these seriously and prepare for them.”