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What’s It Like to Lose Power for Nine Days?

Moments after Craig Mitchelldyer walked through the door on Feb. 12, the lights went out.

WW presents “Distant Voices,” a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they’re doing during quarantine.

A week and a half ago, Craig Mitchelldyer became a statistic: He was one of the almost 200,000 Oregonians across the state to lose power.

On Feb. 12, the local sports photographer was driving back to his home in Milwaukie after shooting a Blazers game as Portland got pelted with the first of two ice storms to batter the area. Moments after he walked through the door, the lights went out. They wouldn't come back on for nine days.

Related: The Oregon Governor's Mansion Was Without Power for a Week.

"We didn't even see a PGE truck up here until Friday, maybe," Mitchelldyer says. "If you drive around North and South Clackamas County, Oregon City is a disaster, West Linn is a disaster, Milwaukie, Gladstone—it's just carnage everywhere. You kind of get frustrated at PGE, but at the same time, they've got a lot of stuff to do."

Mitchelldyer acknowledges that his experience was hardly traumatic. Still, we had to ask: When you're accustomed to a basic amenity like electricity, what's it like to go without it—particular when you've got two TikTok-obsessed teens at home?

See more Distant Voices interviews here.