PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Thousands of Oregonians are still in the dark, and for many, they've been without power for more than a week. Those affected are demanding answers from Portland General Electric.

There are still about 38,000 customers without power because of that historic winter storm. PGE's Elizabeth Lattanner said it's the worst winter storm they've seen in 40 years.

Customers are asking why it's been taking so long to restore power.

"A record number of crews out there addressing each and every piece of that damaged equipment and damaged wires and poles and things that need to be repaired before we can fully restore that power," Lattanner explained.

She said there is no hard estimate as to when all power will be restored and that crews are working 24/7 to get every customer's power turned back on.

Some people are asking why they haven't seen crews in their neighborhood.

"It could be that the impact to your particular area is further down the line. So it could be not visible to you that we're doing the work necessary to restore your power," Lattanner said.

Others are asking why their neighbor's power is back on, but theirs is not.

"What's likely the case is they are on a different feeder or line that brings power to their house than their neighbors," Lattanner said.

She also said folks shouldn't worry about paying for services they didn't use.

"If they're experiencing an outage, we're not charging you for power," she said.

Lattanner said PGE is always preparing for storms, but the magnitude of this particular one is what's making things so challenging.

CREWS WORKING ON POWER LINES

PGE

"We're always preparing for storms. This storm, in particular, was incredibly challenging because of the amount of ice we saw building up on power lines," she said. "In some places from pole to pole, you can imagine a thousand pounds worth of ice weighing down on those wires and trees, so everything was more severe than we've seen in decades."

PGE has more than 400 crews still working with help from other places across the state of Oregon and from neighboring states, including Washington, Montana and Nevada.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(9) comments

Jefferson

Whine babies, whine. Have you even been watching the news or observing the damage? We are lucky that all these guys don't just walk off the job and head to Texas where they would be assured work and high wages and a better standard of living for at least 20 years. :)

Clackakitty

The problem is consumers want power and PGE wants to permanently repair everything that is broken. There is a happy medium where temporary repairs can get people back on line, and PGE can come back later to do the permanent repairs.

In my neighborhood three poles were down. The crews had to remove the old poles, bring in new poles and set them. It took the better part of a day just to get the old poles out. Alternatively, they could have installed smaller, temporary poles that would do fine for a couple of weeks. Even if that means drilling a hole into someone's front lawn.

maxine

PGE should have buried these power lines a long time ago. The lines in my neighborhood, where there was extensive tree damage, are buried and we lost power for an hour because of the overhead power lines on the main thoroughfare.

Erik Erlow Eeckhart

preppers unite

webjak

"Those affected are demanding answers from Portland General Electric."

Demand away, lines down, stuff is busted.

Native Born

Good grief people, before PGE could even check our feeder lines we had to use our old Ford 8N tractor with loader to clear the county road of all the broken branches & limbs so they could drive their trucks on the road. Before that we had to clear our own farm road so we could open farm gates to get to the county road! This was an epic ice storm the likes of which we have not seen since 1987 /1988! We have lived here in Oregon all of our 65 years.

evilkitty76

You demand answers. You demand lower rates. You demand your conveniences. We cant control nature. Shame on you Fox 12.

wandering aimlessly

Let the crybabies go out in the nasty weather and make the repairs.

maxine

I'm sure the "crybabies", didn't sign up to work for the power company. If the work is so hard they can quit, but I bet they are being well compensated for their work.

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