In a staggering display of winter’s fury, extreme cold leaves 100000 without power in Oregon on Friday. Relentless ice and wind have hampered the restoration efforts of Portland General Electric, the state’s largest utility, which is battling against the severe weather conditions that have battered the U.S. Northwest.
Data from PowerOutage.us indicated that Oregon is facing the brunt of the power crisis, as extreme cold leaves 100000 without power and approximately 110,000 outages reported – the highest in the nation.
Portland General Electric has been on a tireless mission to restore power, overcoming significant challenges the weather poses. “After making substantial progress in restoring power to almost all affected areas, a fresh onslaught of gusty winds and freezing rain caused approximately 50,000 new outages,” the utility reported in its Friday morning update.
With a workforce of around 1,700 dedicated workers, the utility expressed its commitment to resolving the crisis. “We understand the disruption these outages cause and will not stop until the lights are back on for everyone,” a spokesperson for Portland General Electric stated.
In a tragic turn of events, Portland fire officials reported that three individuals lost their lives on Wednesday due to electrocution from a downed power line, which fell onto a vehicle. Miraculously, a baby survived the incident and was rescued by a witness.
The extreme cold has affected power lines and spiked power demand across parts of the U.S. This surge was most noticeable on Wednesday, following a record consumption of natural gas for heating and power generation a day earlier.
The far-reaching impact of the storm has been felt beyond Oregon. It forced the shutdown of a major Gulf Coast refinery in Texas, led to malfunctions at other facilities, and slashed North Dakota’s oil production by half.
Officials in North Dakota anticipate a challenging recovery, estimating about a month for oil production to return to normal after the severe freeze drastically cut output.
As the region grapples with the aftermath of this brutal winter storm, the focus remains on restoring normalcy, with power restoration efforts continuing unabated. The resilience of the communities and utility workers is a testament to the enduring spirit in the face of natural adversities.