High Winds, Rain Forecast for Today and Saturday

October 13, 2016 – Two separate storms are expected to bring rain and high winds to Columbia County this afternoon and on Saturday.

  • Thursday Impacts: The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the region beginning at 2 p.m. this afternoon. Winds are forecast to increase to 30 miles per hour (MPH) with gusts 35 to 45 MPH, with the strongest winds occurring between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Up to an inch of rain is forecast for the greater Portland metropolitan area.
  • Saturday Impacts: A strong Pacific cyclone will approach the Pacific Northwest coast, bringing another round of wind and rain to the area. This storm is predicted to hit Saturday afternoon or evening, and some forecast models are indicating it could bring the strongest winds in 20 years. This storm will bring additional rain to the area, and could bring total accumulations to three inches.

“We are prepared for this storm,” said Engineering Supervisor Branden Staehely. “Our line crews are ready, our warehouse is stocked, and our office staff is ready to take shifts on our outage hotline if needed. We encourage our customers to prepare as well, by stocking up their home emergency kits and checking on neighbors who might need extra assistance if the lights go out.”

Outage Reporting & Updates

Columbia River PUD customers should report outages at (503) 397-1844. The PUD will provide outage updates on its Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/crpud and Twitter Feed, www.twitter.com/crpudUtility, between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Outage Preparedness

The PUD urges customers to create a home emergency kit to prepare for storms and outages. Information about what to include in your kit can be found at www.crpud.net/kit.

Downed Line Safety

The PUD reminds customers to treat all downed lines as live and dangerous. Stay away, keep others away, and report downed lines at (503) 397-1844. Call 9-1-1 if it is a medical or life-threatening emergency.

During an Outage

  • When an outage occurs, call (503) 397-1844 to report it.
  • Turn off lights & electrical equipment.
  • Leave one porch light on to let our repair crews confirm when your service has been restored, and one light inside your home so you will know.
  • Unplug televisions, computers, stereos, and other electronic equipment to prevent damage from possible surges and spikes when power is restored.
  • Turn off electric heating systems and water heaters at the breaker.
    Once power is restored, turn these items on again one at a time, in 30-minute intervals, to avoid overloading the electrical grid and causing another outage.

Generator Safety

Only connect a standby generator to your home’s electrical system using a transfer switch. A transfer switch allows you to operate home appliances without extension cords and prevents electricity from back-feeding on to our power lines where it could seriously injure or kill PUD repair crews. Learn more at www.crpud.net/generlink.

Customers with Special Medical Needs

If someone in your home is disabled, on life support, or has other special needs, it is very important that you plan ahead to prepare for storms, outages, or other emergencies. The PUD recommends reading the American Red Cross Guide, Disaster Preparedness for People with Special Needs and Persons Age 65 and Older, to learn the steps of creating a personal support network and emergency plan. In a true emergency, always call 9-1-1.