Contact: Pacific Power media hotline FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1-800-570-5838 Jan. 4, 2017
Pacific Power continues restoring power to customers in southern Oregon, northern California hit by heavy snow
Approximately 12,000 customers remain without electricity across the region; some may not be restored until Friday due to widespread, severe system damage
MEDFORD, Ore. --Pacific Power crews are battling waist high snow and closed roads in many areas as they work at restoring electrical service to customers in Josephine and Jackson counties in Oregon and Siskiyou County in California after a severe snow storm whipped through the area earlier in the week.
"We have nearly 250 Pacific Power line crew, tree trimmers, support staff and contractors on the job, who have been working around the clock now, with rest shifts to keep everyone sharp and safe," said Larry Young, southwest operations director. "At this time, we ask that customers who lack power prepare for their electricity to be out until tomorrow evening. Some individual and more isolated customers may not see power return until Friday. This is due to the severity and widespread nature of the damage, and in some cases, extremely rugged terrain. We are deploying snow cats where necessary and may use helicopters to patrol lines or get crews to areas that are inaccessible. In addition, we have approximately 60 contract line crew members arriving this afternoon and evening as we continually focus on getting more customers restored."
Blocked roads by snow and fallen trees in many areas are slowing down the efforts. Forecasts call for more snow in the area, possibly followed by rains that could cause flooding, further hampering work. "We could be in for an a difficult few days," said Young.
Communities with significant outages as of 1 p.m. include:
Grants Pass/Cave Jct./Selma/Merlin -- 6,497
Medford/Jacksonville/Gold Hill/Eagle Point -- 2,528
Yreka/ Mt Shasta -- 1,870
A warming shelter is being operated by the Red Cross at the Cave Junction City Hall, at 222 West Lister St.
Be Safe: These things are true anytime, but are especially important when storms damage power lines. Stay away from all downed power lines. Even if lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous.
Be Smart: To ease the inconvenience of power outages and assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power suggests the following tips and safety precautions:
* Call and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.
* Candles should never be left unattended or used for extended periods. Use a flashlight or other battery-powered lighting source.
* Use a fireplace or wood stove to keep warm. Pay careful attention to fire hazards.
* Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don't use charcoal in your house or garage.
* Never use a barbecue grill indoors. Cook over sterno cans.
* Don't drive over downed power lines.
* Turn on your porch light switch. After crews complete repairs, they patrol the area to confirm lights are on.
* As much as possible, do not open refrigerators and freezers--they will keep food and perishables inside cold for some time if not opened.
* Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Add a hat and blanket to stay warm. Blankets and towels around windows and doors help keep the heat in.
* Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.
* Generators should be outside or in a well-ventilated unoccupied space
* Make sure generators are properly wired for your home or business, and don't connect a generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. This can create a dangerous back feed hazard for line crews.
Customers and media can check on outage updates at: pacificpower.net/outage.
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