Tribal Government & News

PGE warns of possible West Valley power outages

09.08.2022 Dean Rhodes Public safety


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Portland General Electric is warning West Valley residents in the Grand Ronde, Willamina and Sheridan areas that it might have to turn off power in its Public Safety Power Shutoff areas to prevent the chance of downed power lines starting wildfires.

The weather forecast for Friday and Saturday includes strong, gusty winds and temperatures in the high 80s and lower 90s.

Tribal General Manager David Fullerton said that if PGE does shut off power, it will not affect in-person voting for the Saturday, Sept. 10, Tribal Council election that will be held in the Community Center or the Sunday, Sept. 11, General Council meeting that will be held in Tribal Council Chambers in the Governance Center.

“Both buildings are backed up with generators, so we should not have any issues,” Fullerton said.

PGE said it is “highly likely” that it will temporarily turn off power in all 10 of its Public Safety Power Shutoff areas to reduce the risk of wildfires. Shutoffs could affect approximately 30,000 customers.

“PGE aims to provide up to four hours of notice to customers before turning off the power,” the company said. “We understand that being without power is difficult and will work as quickly as safety allows to fully restore power. However, a PSPS can extend for days, even after the weather returns to normal because we visually inspect our lines and other electrical equipment and make any repairs that are necessary before re-energizing.”

Weather in the Grand Ronde area is forecasted to moderate on Sunday, with highs decreasing into the mid- to high 70s.