Power outages left thousands without electricity

At about 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, an ice storm caused much of Albany and the surrounding areas to lose electricity, dropping many trees on power lines and disrupting the routine of thousands of people. 

     West Albany teacher Matt Boase was one of those affected, as he lives in North Albany, one of the areas that lost power. Electricity at his house went out on the evening of Feb. 13, and came back on Feb. 14. Fortunately, he did have a generator, so he was able to keep the house warm and the refrigerator cold in the meantime. However, as of Feb. 16, he was still without cable or internet, which presents a large amount of challenges, seeing as he is a teacher. 

     For class on Feb. 16, he went to the parking lot of North Albany Middle School to use their WiFi, along with his wife and kids, so he could teach his class. 

     “My initial thought was ‘can we get on to Starbucks’ WiFi quickly enough,’ and then it made more sense to go to NAMS,” Boase said, “which was a little weird walking outside carrying my laptop and trying to have a Zoom class, while staying warm enough in the Oregon morning.”
    Junior Sydney Harrington was at her friend’s house when the power went out in her neighborhood that evening, living in the outskirts of town, near Jefferson, her family lost power at around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16th. 

     Harrington received a text from her mom telling her to stay there, as her house had lost its power. When she arrived Saturday morning there was a power line blocking the driveway, leaving her parents cars trapped inside. Harrington’s car was the only one that did not get cornered in the driveway, so she was the only one who left that weekend, spending time either at her Grandma’s house or at volleyball. 

     “One of the things that made it so easy for me, was the fact I had other options. It would have been a lot easier for the people who struggled if they had other places to go.” Harrington said.

     At 4 a.m. the same night, Kyle Hall, a teacher of West Albany woke up to a loud boom outside his house. In the neighborhood around the Albany Tennis Club, plenty of trees had been falling, so Hall assumed he had heard a branch falling or a transformer exploding. 

     Hall looked out toward the woods and saw a small fire in the distance. “At first I couldn’t tell if it was a fire or not. It could have easily been a reflection but I wasn’t too sure and I wanted to check.” Hall watched for a second and he saw the fire get bigger. With the fire being right next to the woods it could have potentially been hazardous. 

     When Hall rushed outside with a flashlight he realized the rain had put the fire out, but to be safe he called the fire department anyway. “Once the fire department arrived they thanked me and encouraged me to get back inside, of course I quickly obliged.” Hall continued on to say, “I realized I should not have rushed outside like I did. It’s a miracle I’m safe because after the fact I noticed that power lines were down around me. It’s a miracle that nobody was injured”.