Wind and rain blew through Tillamook County leading into this past weekend, prompting Tillamook People’s Utility District (TPUD) to call for all hands on deck.
Joanna Stelzig, TPUD public relations manager, said it was an all-crew outage as of late Thursday night, Dec. 19. The first call came in around 5:30 p.m. and crews were out working until midnight Saturday morning, coming back in Saturday to finish up some small issues for about 17 hours.
Stelzig said most of the damage to TPUD equipment from the storm was on a smaller scale. There were around four broken poles and tap lines with minimal customers. Crews were stationed throughout the service territory and working on outages as they occurred. The PUD also posted frequent updates on outages to social media.
Of around 8,200 people who lost power during the storm, Stelzig said 8,000 were in the North County area. She said that outage was caused by the Pacificorp transmission line being down in multiple areas.
Stelzig offered the following tips to prepare for a storm or power outage: if you have a well and know a storm is coming, fill your bathtub with water for toilet flushing and other water needs, have flashlights, food, water and other supplies available, and keep a radio handy for updates.
If you have access to the internet you can get updates from the TPUD Facebook and Twitter pages or from the TPUD website. They also send out Nixle alerts. If you require electricity for medical needs (oxygen, CPAP, etc.) please have a back-up plan in place for if the power goes out.
“We do the best we can to restore power to areas as quickly as possible,” Stelzig said. “However, depending on the situation this can take some time.”
During an outage, be sure to keep your refrigerator and freezer shut to keep food cold, unplug sensitive electronics, and if it is cold outside close your windows, drapes and doors to keep heat in.
If you see downed lines do not go near them, call the TPUD dispatch line at 503-842-2122 or 800-842-2122.