We wanted to take a few minutes to alert you to our preparation plans for the winter storm that will impact our area starting Tuesday afternoon into Friday morning. While we are accustomed to winter weather in the upper Midwest, this storm appears to be packing an additional punch that requires additional attention. With the potential for significant snowfall and wind gusts reaching 40 mph, there is an opportunity for downed power lines, broken poles, and severed fiber connections. With blizzard conditions, even smaller numbers of outages may require extended restoration times as travel will be heavily impacted.
In preparation for this storm, we have taken the following steps:
- We are preparing our staff to work remotely, allowing us to provide communication and updates to our members if the weather causes office closure. Our line crew will be reporting and standing by to address any issues.
- We have reviewed our materials and fuel supplies to ensure we can respond to outages.
- We have reviewed our Emergency Restoration Plan developed for situations like this.
We ask you to do the following:
- Report all outages through SmartHub, by texting ‘Outage’ to 855-939-3842 or calling our outage number at 800-927-5705.
- Prepare for extended periods without electricity. Please ensure you have a heating source that doesn’t require electricity or make plans to shelter with family or friends that can help.
- Take this opportunity immediately to ensure you have plenty of food, water, and other emergency items available to you.
- Review items in your household that require electricity, such as well pumps, water heaters, ovens/ranges, etc., may not be operational.
In case of prolonged outages, we will do the following:
- Once we can safely restore power, we will begin working to clear any hazards impacting our distribution lines. Normally, we will focus on the core distribution lines that run from the substations before moving into yards or other areas that have been impacted.
- If we run into an overwhelming number of issues, we will contact our regional electric cooperatives to ask for assistance to restore power.
- As much as possible, we will communicate through social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and through E-Mail, Text Messaging (SMS), Push Notifications, and our website.
- Outage maps are available on our website. A storm preparation checklist is available.
Our goal is to ensure that we keep the lights on and provide you with reliable power to ensure your safety. Our goal will be to ensure that our employees work when it’s safe to do so, and we ask you to stay away from any downed power lines and notify us immediately of any issues.
Thank you for your assistance as we get through this storm.