Downtown Portland Temporary Power Interruption in March

Here’s how you can prepare for these system improvement outages — part of an essential project to strengthen the energy grid.

March 2019 Project Update

We are proud to power your day, and are happy to report that this project is complete.

On Sunday, March 10, PGE crews successfully energized the new underground cables, after completing a 56 minute outage. On Sunday, March 24, crews repeated a series of steps in the Phase 2 area, and that outage lasted 40 minutes. Thank you to the downtown community and our government partners who helped complete this successful outage series.

Dates and times

  • Phase 1: Completed
  • Phase 2: Completed

Marquam outage map

Why multiple dates?

We’ve scheduled two phases to minimize the impact to downtown. As an extra precaution, we have April 13 as a backup in case of severe weather or other circumstances outside of our control. We’ll let you know in advance if any of the dates change.

How long will these system improvement outages last?

We’re starting the outages at 4 a.m. on a weekend when traffic is light, most businesses are closed and residents are sleeping. You’ll be without power on just one day and only briefly — ideally less than one hour. But this is complicated work, so it’s possible it may take longer. That’s why we want to help you prepare.

Take steps now to prepare

  • We encourage everybody to always have an outage kit on hand with a flashlight, extra batteries and other essentials.
  • Plan ahead for any equipment requiring power, including medical equipment.
  • Business should take steps to minimize disruptions and protect equipment. This includes having backup plans for electronic door locks, cash registers and other essential equipment. Make sure all employees are aware power will be out temporarily.
  • If you choose to use a portable generator to power essential equipment during the outage, use extreme caution and follow important safety rules to protect yourself, others and your equipment. Never, ever, try to “back feed.” That’s the idea of attempting to power your whole business or building by using a doctored extension cord to plug a generator into an electrical outlet. This is extremely dangerous and could cause a fire, serious injury or death! Only plug an individual appliance into the receptacle outlet of the generator.
  • If your building has standby generators or emergency lighting, check now to ensure the systems are working properly.
  • For fire and security alarm systems, make sure battery backup systems are working, and notify your alarm-monitoring company so they are aware of the temporary power interruptions.
  • Hotel and apartment managers will want to inform guests and residents in advance of these planned outages.
  • Elevators will not work while the power is off, unless your building has backup power. It’s a good idea for building managers to post signs near the elevators in advance of the event. Do not use the elevator just prior to the 4 a.m. shutdown time.
  • Food service facilities may want to minimize the delivery of perishables on or near these dates.
  • Keep refrigerators closed when the power is off — food will stay cold for up to four hours. A full freezer will protect food for about 24 to 48 hours.
  • There will be no need to contact PGE to report this outage since it’s a planned activity.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these critical upgrades. Learn more about how we’re modernizing our electric grid to minimize power outages and keep electricity prices affordable, while laying the foundation for a clean energy future.

Have questions about these service interruptions? See our FAQ.