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Preparing for possible power outages as ice storm approaches

KVAL Eugene logo KVAL Eugene 12/22/2022 News Staff
© Provided by KVAL Eugene

The National Weather Service has issued an Ice Storm Warning for western Oregon and the South Willamette Valley in effect from 12:00 p.m. Thursday through 7:00 a.m. Friday.  Power outages and tree damage are likely during this time, as ice accumulation of 0.1" to 0.5" is expected.



To report an outage to Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB), call the outage reporting line at 1-844-484-2300.  You must complete all prompts to record your outage.  According to EWEB's website, the text message feature to report an outage is unavailable.  Customers are also asked not to attempt to report outages over Facebook or Twitter.

Check EWEB's outage map to see where outages have been reported.

EWEB gives these tips to prepare your home for power restoration:

  • If you have electric heat, please turn down your thermostats to prevent overloading the distribution system (and causing another outage) when power is restored.
  • Keep your fridge & freezer closed as much as possible. During prolonged outages, food will stay frozen about 2 days in a full freezer and 1 day in a half-full freezer. Covering your freezer with a blanket slows the thawing process.
  • Make sure your stove or other appliances with heating elements are turned off. This could create a safety hazard if you are not home when power is restored.
  • If you're electronics aren't protected with a surge protector, you may consider unplugging electrical equipment during an outage.
  • Leave an inside light and a porch light switched on, so you and EWEB repair crews will know when power has been restored.

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To report a power outage to Springfield Utility Board (SUB), call (541) 746-8451.

SUB's website gives these tips for preparing for an outage:

Gather in One Place:

  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and fresh batteries
  • Corded phone that doesn’t rely on electricity (if you have landline service)
  • First aid kit
  • Car charger
  • Ready-to-eat pantry foods

Have on Hand:

  • Extra blankets and insulated sleeping bags for each member of your household.
  • Bottled water, especially if you have a well that requires electricity to pump. A gallon a day per person is recommended.

Safety Tips:

  • Limit the use of candles, which can be a fire hazard, especially in homes with children and pets.
  • If using a back-up generator, follow manufacturer instructions. Improper use can harm you and our service staff.
  • Don’t go near downed lines – treat all power lines as if they are energized.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, know how to use the manual override.
  • Know how to shut power off to your home at your breaker panel, if needed.
  • Keep a list of local dry ice suppliers to help with food preservation – many grocery chains now carry it.
  • Don’t cook indoors or heat your home with camp stoves – these can produce deadly gases.
  • Keep a flashlight in your car in case you are coming home to a dark house.

Important Wintertime Habits:

  • Have enough prescription medications and personal care items on hand to last several days.
  • Keep your cell phone charged and your gas tank full.
  • Keep some cash on hand – ATMs might not work during major outages.
  • Stock extra firewood if you have a wood-burning fireplace.
  • Have fireplaces inspected and cleaned annually – creosote build-up can be dangerous.

For Outages Lasting Longer Than a Day:

  • Check on vulnerable neighbors if you can.
  • Tune into the news often.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food cool, unless you are adding dry ice.
  • Drape blankets over your refrigerator/freezer to help insulate it.
  • When power is back, inspect food to see if anything must be thrown out.

If Your Neighbors Have Power But You Don’t

  • Check your breaker panel – resetting flipped breakers may restore power.
  • Check your home’s weatherhead – this is where electric service enters your house from SUB lines. If it is damaged, you’ll need to contact an electrician to repair it before we can restore power to your home. See more information on power restoration on our How Power is Restored page. Take time now to locate this equipment, and if you have trouble, call SUB.

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Emerald People's Utility District (EPUD)

Report outages to EPUD by calling (541) 746-1583 or using SmartHub.  Get more information on outages on EPUD's website.


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