A power outage in downtown Portland has affected stoplights, disrupted MAX service and has left more than 2,000 customers without electricity as of Tuesday evening.
Pacific Power reported late Monday night that a fire in an underground vault containing electrical equipment was the culprit for the outage. Crews were able to put out the fire and began working on restoring power early Tuesday morning, but the most recent official estimate says affected areas could be without power until 9 p.m. Tuesday. Pacific Power's website has a map of area outages.
The company says it has 50 crew members working on the problem but advised that streetlights, emergency lighting systems, elevators and traffic signals are all affected by the outage. Commuters should treat all affected intersections as four-way stops until power is restored to traffic signals.
The outage has disrupted service on TriMet's Red and Blue MAX light rail lines and several bus lines serving the Pearl District and South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. TriMet is encouraging riders to plan extra time for their commutes Tuesday as crews work to restore power.
The Multnomah County Central Library and Portland Art Museum are both closed Tuesday due to the power outage, as well as a number of businesses in the affected area.
Even though City Hall is outside the outage radius, city phone lines are not receiving external calls. 911 and the Portland Police non-emergency line (503-823-3333) are still working. Portlanders who are trying to get in touch with city officials can use email and online forms until phone service is restored.