A power outage hit south Ashland this afternoon when a large vehicle backed into a power pole and knocked it over, toppling up to two additional poles, city officials said this afternoon.

A power outage hit south Ashland this afternoon when a large vehicle backed into a power pole and knocked it over, toppling up to two additional poles, city officials said this afternoon.

The large vehicle had backed up to let another vehicle pass by, city officials said.

Electric crews are on the scene in the Croman Mill area, which is near Tolman Creek Road, and plan to switch over circuits between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to restore power to some customers.

The exact location of the outage and number of affected electric customers were not immediately available.

The switching of the circuits should restore power to some customers, but not all, said city of Ashland Management Analyst Ann Seltzer.

Areas that do not have power restored because of the switch could be without electricity for six hours or more, she said.

The downed poles will have to be fixed to help those customers, Seltzer said.

The city of Ashland Electric Department provides electricity in town. Pacific Power said 100 of its customers who rely on a circuit fed from the city are affected.

The city activated its emergency notification system, also known as a reverse 9-1-1 system, so that residents and businesses would receive notices of the outage. The notice went to everyone in town on the system, Seltzer said.

The outage has caused a flood of phone calls to city offices. At least six people are staffing phones at Ashland City Hall on the downtown Plaza. City officials and crews, including electric, police and fire personnel, are aware of the outage and are working together to tackle the problem, Seltzer said.

Ashland does not have plans to open its emergency shelter tonight, she said. The shelter opens during cold weather at the Ashland First Congregational Church of Christ, which is at the corner of Siskiyou Boulevard and Morton Street.

— Vickie Aldous