Local electrician Tyler Fryman, of Green Tree Electric, was on an impromptu trip in Arizona with his wife, Ashley, when the historic ice storm pummeled Clackamas County over Presidents’ Day weekend — plunging more than a quarter of the county’s residents into cold and darkness.
That included the Frymans’ children, who were at home with Tyler’s mom, with no power or heat besides a gas fireplace. Unable to end their trip early any other way, the Frymans bought a vehicle and made the 24-hour trip back to Oregon in 26 hours (with a brief stopover for Tyler to take a two-hour nap).
Arriving home on Saturday night, Tyler hooked up his own generator and helped a buddy do the same. He visited some other friends the next day and “realized how cold their houses were,” he recalls.
That’s when he decided to post on the local Facebook group Canby Now, offering to help rural residents wire in their generators for free, and the requests flooded in.
Tyler estimates he hooked up around 30 or more generators in the Canby area between Sunday and Wednesday before he had to get back to paid work (his company was already facing a four-week backlog before the ice storm hit).
“It can be dangerous,” he says of wiring a generator without electrical training. “I just didn’t want people trying it themselves and back feeding into PGE or the utility company’s power grid.”
Some of those Tyler helped have been using a few of their newly generated watts to post their appreciation to social media this week.
“I want to thank Ashley Fryman for lending her husband to all of us not only on Sunday and not only on Valentine’s Day but after a long road trip and time away from his kids,” said one area resident. Tyler Fryman from Green Tree Electric is a solid dude! When most people would’ve stalled and stayed a few nights in a hotel he decided to rush back to his hometown and help out! Thank you, Tyler!”
“Thanks to Tyler!” another agreed. “It’s so nice to have water and power.”