US cold snap leaves over 100,000 without power in Oregon

By Reuters

January 20, 2024 at 1:00 PM

(Reuters) - At least 100,000 customers in Oregon still did not have electricity flowing to their homes on Friday, as continued ice and wind limited efforts to restore power by Portland General Electric, the state's largest utility.

Severe winter storms have pounded the U.S. Northwest in recent days, and data from showed that Oregon was the hardest-hit state with around 110,000 power outages.

"After significant progress restoring all but about 5,000 customers from this week's weather, a third round of weather, including high gusty winds and freezing rain, caused about 50,000 new outages," Portland General said in its latest update on Friday morning.

"We understand the disruption these outages can cause and will not stop until the lights are on for everyone," the utility added, with some 1,700 workers involved in its restoration efforts.

On Wednesday, Portland fire officials said a downed power line electrocuted three people to death in Oregon after falling onto a vehicle, but a baby in diapers survived after a witness retrieved the child from the scene.

Freezing temperatures triggered peak power demand in parts of the U.S. on Wednesday, a day after homes and businesses consumed a record amount of natural gas for heating and power generation.

The severe winter storm also shut a U.S. Gulf Coast refinery in Texas on Tuesday, triggered malfunctions at others and halved North Dakota oil production.

North Dakota's oil output could take about a month to recover after a severe freeze cut production by more than half this week, state officials said.

(Reporting by Deep Vakil and Daksh Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)


Reuters is a news agency owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world.

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