Power surge in Sherwood leaves thousands without electricity

SHERWOOD, Ore. -- Thousands of customers are without electricity in Washington County after a tree limb fell, causing a power surge.

Crews with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded Wednesday to multiple reports of outages. A tree limb apparently fell in the area of Southwest Pacific Highway and Cipole in Sherwood, causing a power surge affecting nearly 15,000 of homes, said PGE spokesman Steve Corson.

By 3:40 p.m., power had been restored to all but 3,000 customers. PGE estimate having power restored to everyone sometime in the early evening.

Fire crews have fielded as many as 51 calls for help. There have been several reports of problems with electrical equipment at homes, including a Sherwood home where an electrical meter was blown off the side of the house.

Other residents have reported blown meters, the smell of smoke in their homes and inoperable traffic lights.

"There was a power surge that is causing all kinds of havoc in Sherwood," said Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Casandra Ulven.

No injuries have been reported, nor have there been any fires. Fire officials say the numerous calls to 911 are taxing firefighters, fire investigators and other staff.

Until power is restored, officials advise people to do the following:

  • Treat intersections without a working traffic signal as a four-way stop.

  • Don't touch exposed electrical meters or wiring. Instead, call 911.

  • Check on your elderly neighbors until power is restored.

  • Don't use candles, as they are a fire hazard. Use flashlights and light sticks to light your home.

The Sherwood School District announced that Sherwood High School students were released from school at 2 p.m. due to the outage. The district said school buses would take students home at the normal time.

Middleton Elementary School, also without power, will release students at the normal time, district spokewoman Corey Thompson said.

All other schools in the Sherwood School District have power.

Those living in western Washington County who don't have power should contact PGE at 503-464-7777.

This story will be updated.