By most accounts, it’s been 60 years since Oregon saw a storm that damaged the power grid to the degree ice and snow battered the Portland region this weekend.
In 1962, the famed “Columbus Day Storm” felled trees, powerlines, statues and military outposts with its typhoon-force winds. “The intense winds left over a million people in Oregon without electrical power, some of them for weeks,” reads an Oregon Historical Society account of the event.
Today, the Portland region is in a similar state. More than an inch of ice accumulation over the weekend downed thousands of power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of people from Marion County to North Portland wondering when they might have their service restored. Portland officials said they received a staggering 2,800 emergency calls Monday, as residents reported severe power outages and dangerously dangling tree limbs.