Power Restored at EWEB’s Water Treatment Plant


In a dazzling display of resilience, Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) crews successfully restored power to the Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant, breaking free from the clutches of generators and returning to the comforting embrace of the grid on a Monday evening.

With a well-stocked arsenal of fuel and cutting-edge equipment, including on-site chlorine generation tech, the water treatment plant had weathered the storm. However, the restoration of electric power marked a triumphant victory for the hardworking EWEB crews, who’ve been in the field since Saturday, braving outages, mitigating risks, and restoring power.

EWEB, orchestrating a power restoration symphony across Eugene, diligently followed their restoration protocols known as the “hierarchy of repair.” The strategy focused on fixing equipment serving the most significant customer base first, cascading down to equipment catering to fewer customers.

As of midday Tuesday, approximately 4,900 customers still awaited the return of power, while EWEB celebrated the successful restoration for thousands more since the storm’s onset.

Tyler Nice, EWEB’s electric operations manager, expressed gratitude for the community’s support amidst challenging conditions. Acknowledging the ongoing power outages, Nice stated, “We’re thankful for customers’ patience as we all band together to get through this ice storm.”

In a strategic reinforcement move, five contract crews joined the ranks on Tuesday, boosting EWEB’s capacity to address outages and restore power.

However, EWEB is gearing up for another round of challenges. The forecast predicts a second wave of ice, posing potential threats to already burdened trees and electrical infrastructure. The utility is on high alert, prepared to pull back crews if conditions deteriorate for their safety.

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Post-thaw, the looming danger of falling ice-laden limbs remains, posing a persistent risk for additional outages.

As Nice aptly put it, “This storm is a marathon, not a sprint based on the conditions and damage we have seen so far.” EWEB crews prioritize safety, ensuring that injuries and equipment damage don’t impede their power restoration mission.

Upriver, where most transmission lines are still down, presents a formidable challenge. EWEB faces the uphill task of restoring power to customers east of Thurston. The hazardous conditions on roads leading to transmission lines add another layer of complexity.

Customers keen on tracking the restoration progress can refer to EWEB’s outage map for real-time updates.

Amidst the challenges, EWEB remains undeterred, navigating the storm with a blend of resilience and strategic restoration efforts. As the community rallies together, the triumph over the ice storm continues to unfold, one restored power connection at a time.