One week after historic winter storm, thousands in Oregon still without power

One Week After Historic Winter Storm, Thousands In Oregon Still Without Power

West Linn, Oregon (KPTV) — Friday marks one week without power for tens of thousands of people across the Portland metro area.

Many of those people are living in rural areas where access to resources is more difficult. One of those PGE customers is Kit Vandebroucke, who has gone a week without power at her Canby home.

“They say it takes a week to start new habits, and I’m telling you it takes longer because I’m still flipping light switches on,” she said.

Vandenbroucke said she lost power last Friday night. She lives in a rural area of Canby where her only source of water comes from her well, which runs on electricity.

“Without power, we don’t have water, which is a huge life sustaining… In Canby, if you don’t have power, you have water. So, it’s kind of confusing because without power, we don’t have anything out here,” she said.

That water isn’t just necessary for her family, but for her horses, too.

“We go down to Canby fairgrounds and we fill up our water tank and water the horses,” Vandenbroucke said.

PGE says that Canby will be one of the areas that takes the longest to get power restored to.

Vandenbroucke is powering everything in her home with a small generator. It’s hooked up to her stove, refrigerator and freezers using extension cords.

“We raise cattle for our freezer and we can’t afford to lose that cattle, that meat that we put in the freezer,” she said.

This storm also comes just a month after Vandenboucke’s neighborhood experienced serious flooding.

She says this storm has really shown her how much she appreciates in her day-to-day life.

“Oh my gosh, we take so much for granted. The coffee maker, the hot water for tea, the lights alone, it’s amazing,” said Vandenbroucke.

She says she’s thankful to the linesman who are working to get her power back up, and just hopes it happens soon.

“That first hot shower’s going to be a blessing,” she said.

PGE said it hopes that by Friday night, the number of customers without power will be down to 15,000. They have also created a new website that allows customers to view their area, see the damage assessed, and get an estimate for power to be restored.

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