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Fallen tree sparks LO power outage on Sunday

The lights went out for more than 1,000 people in Lake Oswego on Sunday, and they didn’t come back on for about 10 hours, city officials said Tuesday.

The outage reportedly happened after a large tree located on private property along South Shore Road fell on some power lines near Edgecliff Terrace. As a result, about 1,300 customers lost power just after 8 a.m. Sunday.

Crews had to shut down Southshore Boulevard from Lakeridge to Greentree Road in order to repair the line, according to KOIN 6 News. PGE reported receiving 2,671 service calls for repair.

A PGE representative originally expected the power to be back on by Sunday afternoon. Power was finally restored around 9 p.m. Sunday.

Jordan Wheeler, assistant to the city manager, told the city council Tuesday night that local permitting and tree code requirements didn’t contribute to the initial problem or delay PGE’s repairs.

The tree that fell “took out the Shore Shore-Stafford feeder line, which is a pretty significant feeder line in Lake Oswego,” he said. The tree damaged the power pole, transformer and cross beams on the pole, which took time to repair.

He said PGE considers an outage “major” if it affects more than 100 people, and when multiple major outages happen in one area in any given year the utility typically will consider making changes to relieve some of the impact.

This area of Lake Oswego hasn’t reached that threshold.

“But if more outages do occur they’ll take a look and see if there are other things they can do in terms of adding additional switches so they can maintain power along South Shore when these kinds of things occur,” Wheeler said.

Councilor Donna Jordan encouraged Wheeler to apply some pressure to the state body that regulates utility customer rates and services because of the large number of customers that were affected.

“I would push the (state public utility commission) on that one,” Jordan said. “That’s a big territory out there that got hammered.”



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