In an effort to put a stop to wildfires, PGE and Pacific Power both turned off the electricity in Oregon and Washington over the weekend for the first time in state history.
It occurs two years after PGE decided to turn off the electricity to certain residents of the Sandy Corridor before to the start of the Labor Day fires.
By Sunday night, Pacific Electricity and PGE had repaired the power for tens of thousands of consumers.
Rick Kneuven resides off SW Skyline Boulevard, a neighborhood where the predicted outages would occur. He was one of the 37,000 PGE customers whose energy was turned off due to the serious fire risk.
“The alerts arrived before schedule. We received a warning that the electricity was about to be cut off,” the man added. “The winds were really powerful. Debris was blowing all over the place as we were grabbing it.
PGE examined and patrolled 1,800 kilometers of equipment and line. The business claims that in certain places, wind gusts over 50 mph caused damage. PGE said that they believe their decision to turn off the electricity was the appropriate one.
Similar thoughts were expressed by Pacific Power, which shut off the lights for 12,000 customers in the counties of Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Douglas, and Lincoln.
We also needed to do some minor wind-related repairs to the line segments that were cut off during this. So that proves that turning off the power for safety was the appropriate decision, according to Pacific Power’s Drew Hanson.
A power outage might become more common in the Pacific Northwest, but only if it is judged essential, according to Hanson.
“This could be a possibility, but it’s also a measure of last resort and really it’s something that would be used on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
Meanwhile, PGE said, as hot dry summers become the norm, so will preventative outages, as one of their tools in mitigating wildfires. Additionally, they intend to strengthen their present infrastructure and bury certain wires.
Kneuven said he hopes power companies continue to use and perfect this tactic because he said having the power out was a small price to pay for peace of mind. He stated, “I think PGE did a tremendous job defining and managing those expectations.
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