More than 200,000 customers in the Willamette Valley were trying to cope with a lack of power on Tuesday morning. We put a call out on Twitter to hear their stories and received dozens of reports. One common theme: Lots of food in freezers that had gone bad.
The added wrinkle to this blackout is of course the pandemic. The generators that kept people working at their offices during outages are of no use to them in their dark homes. Some people are working at friends’ homes or even in their cars.
A safety note: Some people have been talking about alternate ways to keep warm with the power out. Just be wary of possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
And finally, a big thanks to all the people who contributed to the Twitter thread. Here’s a collection of some of the replies:
We lost power on Friday early evening. Trees down all over. We have fireplace and wood but still very chilly inside. Freezer full of newly-purchased meat can’t be saved. Power lines down throughout the neighborhood so we know it could be another week before we get power.— Steve Ritchie (@ritchieontrack) February 16, 2021
Been without in Oregon City since Friday. My apt is about 10 degrees colder than it is outside right now. We are strictly on electric, no gas, so no shower. No fireplace. Food in my chest freezer is still good but we’re almost out of charcoal and propane and stores are sold out!— Deborah (@Debbieotenburg) February 16, 2021
97267. Out since early Saturday, gas FP heats the immediate area and we're cooking on BBQ, incl boiling water for coffee and guessing to wash bodies soon since water heater has been depleted. Thankful for above freezing temps.— Woody (@woody_adams) February 16, 2021
No power since Friday over here but we are relatively lucky. We have gas appliances and a gas fireplace. Our water (private well) went out but we have some in reserve. Sadly, deep freezers filled with food and much of it will go to waste.— Jen M. (@JenHillMag) February 16, 2021
Entire neighborhood has been without power since Friday, I have two deep freezers full of food that are toast at this point $$$ lost, but we’re warm from our wood stove. @portlandgeneral has a brutal task to handle so I’m grateful they’re out there trying!! pic.twitter.com/rPagsmnRZm— Josephine (@msjosephinem) February 16, 2021
You will get more of these.— NitePagan☮️☯️♑️ #BLM (@NitePagan) February 16, 2021
To be prepared, you need the following:
Propane heater that can be used inside like Mr. Heater
CO detector and Oxygen sensor for your safety
Small solar battery, 300w minimum and solar panel, keep the battery fully charged
A way to cook food
Without power since early Saturday 3am. Lost the fridge and freezer food in stages (put some outside in tubs while still freezing), now all of that is lost. Lost half the limbs on a 50+ year old Doug fir. Real mess. I don’t blame PGE, but I want more status info.— Chris Higgins (@chrishiggins) February 16, 2021
In west Linn without power since Friday evening, temps inside were hovering around 40 the whole time. Finally got out for a walk & saw so much damage like the house in photo. Was able to drive to friends last night for warm shower/place to sleep. PGE should have done more prep. pic.twitter.com/HrdD7Czl00— Chrissy Chambers 🌿⚖️💪🏼 (@ChrissyChambers) February 16, 2021
We have not had any power since Saturday morning. We are staying warm with our fireplaces constantly running and our water heater still works. Food has been OK. Our chest freezer is still pretty frozen. PGE has their hands full so I don’t really blame them for the slow response.— Jonathan Stanis (@jonstanis) February 16, 2021
My husband and I live in SW Portland, we lost power Sunday night, we didn’t have phone service until about 2pm yesterday. We go out to our car to warm up and charge our phones throughout the day because our apartment is so cold. We are missing work because we work from home. pic.twitter.com/JrjydeDAyA— KarinnaAF (@karinna_af) February 16, 2021