Local

Downtown Portland Outage Over, But PGE Still Searching For Cause

OPB | Dec. 11, 2013 2:12 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 11, 2013 4:06 p.m.

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Portland General Electric is trying to find the root cause of the power outage that closed Portland City Hall and the Multnomah County Courthouse this week. 

All power is back on in downtown Portland. Several buildings had been off line since Sunday when a major underground cable failed and sparked a fire that damaged three more lines.

PGE spokesman Steve Corson says repairs took nearly three days because limited number of workers have the specialized knowledge to fix the damage.

“This was not a situation where we could simply bring in extra crews and power through the repairs process. You could literally only fit two or three of our journeymen down into this vault to work on these very complex wire splicing,” he explained.

Corson says PGE is analyzing the cable failure to figure out what caused it.

Meantime, the City of Portland and other government agencies are assessing damages. Doug Bray is Trial Court Administrator for Multnomah County.

He estimates his agency paid out $150,000 in salary over the 2.5 days the courthouse was closed.

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