UPDATED: Thousands without power in Josephine County
Updated 12:05 p.m.
Josephine County Search & Rescue are transporting elderly residents of Josephine County who are without power or heat to a shelter, the Josephine County Sheriff's Department reports.
Phones are being staffed right now. Those in need of assistance should call 541-474-5305 to arrange a pickup.
Over 13,113 Pacific Power customers in Josephine and Jackson counties were without electricity as of 9:45 a.m. this morning, company officials reported.
A majority of those outages are in Josephine County, prompting a joint effort between Pacific Power and the American Red Cross to set up several warming shelters across the county. They are currently being set up at Cave Junction City Hall, the Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass, and possibly the Sunny Wolf Charter School in Wolf Creek.
"They're not up and running yet," said Monte Mendenhall, regional community manager for Pacific Power. "We're hoping to have those up and running by this afternoon."
Mendenhall added that, at the peak, 19,000 customers did not have power in Josephine County Thursday night.
Additionally, more than 200 customers are without power in Jackson County, primarily in the Sterling Creek and Sardine Creek areas.
"We should have everybody back in service by this evening," Mendenhall said of the Jackson County outages.
The recent deluge of heavy, wet snow and winds has caused trees and power lines to fall, cutting power for customers. The National Weather Service reported anywhere from three to six inches of heavy, wet snow fell in various spots across Josephine County overnight.
Pacific Power said on its website they expect a majority of customers to have their power back by Saturday evening. Crews from across the state are flocking to the area to help with restoration. They will work through the weekend.
"We're going to work until we have everybody back in service," Mendenhall said.
Customers are reminded to keep away from downed power lines, even if they are not sparking, as energy could still be flowing through the lines.
— Ryan Pfeil