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News Release
PGE restoration update - 02/20/21

Progress continues, significant damage slows crews work

Portland, Ore. (Feb. 20, 2021) – Portland General Electric (PGE) shared that as of this morning, approximately 52,000 customers are without power. This number reflects ongoing restoration challenges, including discovery of both more extensive damage to our equipment than expected as well as previously assessed damage, as were finally able to access additional areas.

Larry Bekkedahl, Vice President Grid Architecture Integration and System Operations, said, “We know how frustrating this is, as we’ve discovered even more challenges to getting our repair and restoration work done along the way. Our 350 crews and the staff who support them will not stop working night and day until we have the power back on for every single customer.”

The series of historic and devastating storms that hit our communities brought three waves of snow, ice and wind and resulted in catastrophic damage to PGE’s system. The first wave included high winds that weakened trees and other vegetation. The second and third waves brought the most destructive freezing rain event in 40 years, coating wires with an inch or more of ice which added 1,000 pounds of extra weight to each span of wire, pole to pole. Further, PGE was unable to safely send crews to the hardest hit areas for the first 48 hours due to extremely dangerous conditions as a result of falling trees and limbs.

The impact of the ice storm on our system meant:

  • To date, one quarter of our customers impacted by this outage have had multiple outages – meaning, as we’ve restored and move on, we’ve had to go back and repeat the repair work.
  • As we neared completion of transmission lines to the areas reaching from Colton to North Marion to Salem to Oregon City, additional falling trees and limbs into those lines meant that the restoration efforts took a significant step backwards – delaying restoration to 25 the associated substations.
  • Significant access issues due to downed trees along the roadways.

Quick statistics on work to be done:

  • Currently without power:  52,000
  • Transmission lines out: 4
  • Feeders out: 2

Quick statistics on work completed:

  • Customers restored: PGE has restored power to approximately 655,000 customers since the start of the storm.
  • Transmission lines repaired: 37
  • Substations repaired: 20
  • Feeders repaired: 241
  • New wire/cable issued: Approximately 70 miles
  • Transmission line miles restored: Approximately 340 miles
  • Transformers issued: 478
  • Poles issued: 428
  • Crossarms issued: 1,402

Customers can visit https://portlandgeneral.com/storminfo for the latest information on outages in their area.

About Portland General Electric Company: Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2020, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $5.6 million and volunteered 18,200 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/news.

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