About 500 residents lost power on Thanksgiving after strong winds knocked out power in the Roseburg, Oakland, Sutherlin and Yoncalla areas.

Halfway through cooking her Thanksgiving turkey, Oakland resident Debbie Hopkins’ power went out.

“I had a lot of my dinner done, but a lot of it wasn’t,” Hopkins said.

She started to get nervous, she said. Hopkins was cooking for 15 friends and family members and didn’t know if the power would come back on.

Her house was one of 81 on Hogan Road that experienced power outages due to high winds Thursday, according to Douglas Electric Cooperative spokesman Todd Munsey. Winds at the Roseburg Regional Airport reached 25 mph, according to the National Weather Service. About 350 customers in the Melrose area and 130 customers in Oakland and Yoncalla also experienced outages, Munsey said in a press release. The outages began around noon, but six electric company crews restored power everywhere by 5:45 p.m.

For many, the outages occurred right as they were cooking dinner. People came to Hopkins’ rescue, however, and her Thanksgiving meal was saved.

She hooked up a generator to her house, which turned the lights and the TV back on, but she still couldn’t use the oven, she said. Her daughter-in-law drove over and took the half-cooked turkey to her boyfriend’s house and they finished cooking it there. A friend picked up Hopkins’ sweet potatoes and baked them at her house.

“If they wanted to eat, they had to help,” Hopkins said. “All the food showed up and we had a great dinner. If nothing else, we could have ham and cold biscuits, you know. We were going to eat and be thankful for what we had. But it worked out.”

Hogan Road resident Reta Wittlock’s power also went out. She said she was thankful she wasn’t having Thanksgiving dinner at her house. But the outage still impacted her food preparation.

“I was making pies and a cake, and I couldn’t finish those,” Wittlock said. “I had to load everything up and take it with us and cook up there when we got to our destination. It was a pain.”

She was planning to leave for her daughter’s house in Creswell at noon but ended up leaving an hour later after her husband hooked up a generator to their house, allowing Wittlock to dry her hair. She said she was happy to be able to cook her pumpkin meringue pie and green bean casserole at her daughter’s house in time for dinner.

“It worked out fine,” Wittlock said. “It could have been worse that’s for sure.”

Max Egener can be reached at and 541-957-4217. Or follow him on Twitter @maxegener.

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City Reporter

Max Egener is the city reporter for The News-Review. He has a master's degree from the University of Oregon, and is an avid skier and backpacker.

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