People text donations, they text votes to reality shows, now they can text a power outage. In time for winter weather, the Eugene Water and Electric Board has launched a new reporting service.
EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says when their system was overloaded in February’s snowstorm, they started working on a solution. During that storm they also had to educate some younger customers who didn’t know they had to tell EWEB when their power was out:
Harwood: “That texting option seems to fit that 18-25 year old demographic pretty well, because we’ve received texts alerting us that certain addresses are out and they seem to be around that university area.”
The new system has been online since late October. Customers can tell the utility their lights are off by texting the word “out” to T-X-E-W-E-B. There’s also an 800-number that can handle thousands of calls at the same time. With the new services, customers won’t get a busy signal, and EWEB can respond to outages faster.