Utility crews working to restore power following Friday wind storms

Facebook user Holly Creekmore shared this photo of a power line knocked down during the wind storms Friday morning, one of many affecting more than 100,000 utility customers in the area. (courtesy Holly Creekmore)

Friday’s wind storms brought down power lines and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes around the Portland metro area.

Washington County seemed to be the hardest hit area in terms power outages, an unsurprising fact when anyone sees the tree limbs hanging off power lines on roads throughout the county.

Portland General Electric officials say safety takes priority to getting customers’ power back on, but they are working quickly to restore service.

By around 11 a.m., 162,000 PGE customers in the metro area had lost power, the biggest outage in Portland since 2006.

Trees came down on power lines throughout the metro, and crews even responded to more than a dozen transmission lines taken down by trees.

Linemen are working as fast as they can to get everyone back online, but the storm is still active, so workers are not able to give customers a solid time frame.

PGE officials say on-going, strong winds also pose a serious threat to line crews and that they may not be able to get to every neighborhood until things calm down.

“Our crews are out there working as fast as safety allows, but with these high winds, sometimes it’s difficult to fly a bucket truck if the winds get over 30 miles an hour,” Stan Sitter with PGE explained. “So we’re tackling it as quickly as we can, but we have to keep an eye on safety.”

From that high point of 162,000 customers without power Friday morning, outage numbers were down to around 92,000 by Friday evening.

While crews are making headway into restoring service, they are also asking for patience from customers and reminding everyone to never approach or touch a downed power line.

PGE customers can see the latest outages updates at PortlandGeneral.com. Pacific Power said just over 17,000 customers were still without power Friday evening, while Clark Public Utilities were showing just over 2,900 customers still without service.

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