Oregon Electrical Utilities Warn of Power Outages

Fearing a repeat of the power lines that ignited the catastrophic fires in the Cascades two years ago, two of Oregon's largest electric utilities are preparing to shut down power lines.

Portland General Electric says it will shut down the grid in both Portland and Washington counties, at the base of Mount Hood and along much of the Columbia River Gorge, along the West Hills.

In some places, disruption will start from 3 am on Friday. But there will be a power cut at all places till 11 am on Friday.

PacifiCorp is preparing similar measures in eight counties, including a stretch of Highway 22 in Santiam Canyon where the Beach Creek Fire devastated cities in 2020.

It was the fire that engulfed power lines that fell in a Labor Day storm that devoured some of Oregon's best-loved forests, revealing the risk posed by the power grid.

In several high-profile lawsuits, people blamed PacifiCorp's failure to cut power as the cause of death and destruction of property.

According to the forecast of similar conditions on Friday, meteorologists are calling the coming weekend the most dangerous of Oregon's fire season.

It has identified 10 locations in northwest Oregon where it will cut power.

The utility says it may cut power to 30,000 customers later this week.

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