Wet storm took out powerlines
March 17, 2022 | View PDF
Worries about fire weakened trees and sloughing hillsides became realities Saturday night when high winds and heavy rains hit the McKenzie Valley. In addition to knocking down power lines serving Lane Electric and the Eugene Water & Electric Board, trees also impacted highway travelers.
First responders answered a 911 call shortly after 8 p.m. on Saturday when a report came in that a 10-inch diameter tree was blocking the McKenzie Highway near milepost 31. The caller also said the tree had fallen on a vehicle whose two occupants were "out, talking and seemed to be okay."
That night, McKenzie Fire & Rescue crews also responded to four other calls involving downed trees, powerlines, or branches on lines.
EWEB officials said their electric crews were busy throughout the night as gusty winds knocked down tree limbs, causing scattered power outages across Eugene and into the McKenzie Valley. The primary outage, affecting just over 1,000 customers, occurred in north Eugene where a large limb fell onto an overhead line. Crews restored power within about 2 hours. Other minor outages occurred near Walterville, Coburg Rd., Royal Ave., Crest Dr., River Road and were repaired within several hours as crews patrolled lines, removed limbs, and fixed equipment throughout the night and into Sunday morning.
Around 1,060 of Lane Electric's McKenzie Valley customers were also affected. LEC linemen spent the next two days replacing broken cross arms in an area extending from the Ben & Kay Park in Vida to above McKenzie Bridge. Lines in that eastern portion of the Valley were re-energized at 3 p.m. on Monday.