PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The storm that rolled across the Pacific and walloped Oregon over the past few days is gone, but the cleanup from Manzanita to the Willamette Valley continues.
Thousands of people lost power as the high winds tipped over trees, downed lines and snapped power poles. The storm kept first responders and utility crews busy for hours, but no one was hurt.
At its peak, PGE reported more than 70,000 customers had their power affected because of the storm. Pacific Power officials said about 51,000 people were affected at one time.
By 3:30 p.m. Sunday, PGE reported around 3300 customers — mostly in Washington County — were still without power and Pacific Power was not even reporting any large outages.
PGE spokesperson Stan Sittser said they had 60 crews working throughout the night to get the outages under control.
“Something that was different about this event is that it was so widespread, so in a regional electric company like PGE, often times we can send people from one area, like Gresham, down to Salem, or from Salem to Beaverton,” Sittser told KOIN 6 News. “Here everybody was working hard because there was damage everywhere, so many trees came down. They weren’t just glancing off of wires, they were taking out wires, taking out poles. A lot of new poles installed overnight, very heroic work.”
The outages are now widely scattered, mostly in rural areas, he said. There were some traffic accidents in Gresham that involved power poles and a transformer blew out in Beaverton which added to their workload.
More than 50 crews remain working to restore power as quickly as possible to all customers.
The cleanup in Manzanita began almost immediately after the tornado ripped through the town on Friday morning.
Resident Jane Wannell tipped her hat to the power crews who worked so quickly.
“I always have my camping equipment ready because we lost power. So I was able to cook nice meals yesterday,” she told KOIN 6 News. “The utility people were amazing! We got power back at 8 o’clock (Friday night.) That was an amazing gift to us. I want to thank them all. And we’ve had a lot of people helping from the surrounding villages in Tillamook. They’ve all come to clear the debris.”
KOIN 6 News will have more information later in the day.