PGE crews continue to chip away at power outages after ‘once in 40-year’ storm

In more rural parts of Clackamas County, the Oregon National Guard worked with the sheriff’s office to get needed supplies to those still without power.

OREGON CITY, Ore. — At a Monday afternoon news conference Portland General Electric (PGE) said it is in the final toughest phases of power restoration. And that means more patience is required for the nearly 14,000 customers still without power Monday night.

“Ongoing wind, ice and tree damage continue to impact our system’s wires and poles, making restoration very challenging,” said PGE president and CEO Maria Pope.

KGW saw crews working hard Monday, on a rainy breezy day in Oregon City. It was a big job, replacing a lot of gear on Barker Avenue. The problem came to KGW’s attention from a neighbor’s tweet on Sunday showing a power pole and leaking transformer that blocked the street for more than a week.

Nearby, 85-year-old Vern Swanson was having the roof fixed, where a tree limb landed. Power was out for five days for them.

“The worst part was the darkness from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. bedtime,” said Swanson. “What do you do with no TV, you got no internet — you’re back to the stone age.”

In more rural parts of Clackamas County, the Oregon National Guard worked with the sheriff’s office to get needed supplies to those still without power. One family of seven got some water, gas for their generator and other comforting things.

RELATED: Oregon National Guard deployed as power outages persist a week after winter storm

“It gets really cold at night and my daughter is terrified of the dark and won’t stay curled up in her bed,” said Melissa Burrows, as she clutched a Red Cross blanket the National Guard members delivered. “She likes to take a blanket so this will be a good blanket for her to wrap up on the couch.”

“You think about that 24-hour clock rolling around … there’s little kids here afraid of the dark, so we’re glad that we could come and help out,” said CMS Jason Schroeder with the 142nd Security Forces of the Portland Air National Guard.

In West Linn, a family who had their joyful thank you to power crews Sunday night posted on social media, documented by another neighbor. 

The Snyder family talked about getting the power back on after nine days without electricity. Six-year-old Logan Snyder showed off a great happy dance as they thanked the PGE crew. His father, Patrick, said he wasn’t alone in the happiness and relief.

“It felt like the whole street was doing that, everyone was exciting to have it come back on,” Patrick said.

PGE said it has restored about 700,000 power outages for more than 421,000 customers. Many of those customers have experienced multiple outages during the past 11 days.

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