Lake Country Power line crews have restored electric service to more than 15,000 cooperative members following severe storms Monday night. Currently, 1,000 members remain without power at 89 outage points, the majority consisting of smaller service areas and broken poles.
Line crews are working toward having service fully restored Friday at all locations.
Members near Burntside Lake in the northeastern portion of the service territory near Ely were particularly hard hit by Monday’s storms, with an entire mile of line and more than 20 poles down in the area as of Thursday morning.
“We have tree crews and heavy equipment up there to get everything opened up,” said Derek Howe, LCP chief operating officer.
Right-of-way crews are currently clearing out heavy-growth trees in the area. Linestakers will follow Friday to plot out new pole locations with construction crews behind them building out the new lines. Progress is slower in the area due to its remote nature and hard rock landscape.
“We can’t just put the poles back where they were,” Howe said. “We’re hoping to rebuild that as quickly as we can.”
The majority of those still affected reside in St. Louis County where 729 members remain without service. Also impacted are parts of Itasca, Aitkin, Cass, Lake and Pine counties.
For safety reasons, line crews will be sent home at 9 p.m. Thursday for much needed rest after working 16 hours straight. Stand-by crews, represented by 6 line workers, will pick up the workload and continue through the night until the rested crews begin again Friday morning for another 16-hour shift.
“We’re much more efficient and productive during the day, so we’ll hit the ground running when it’s light out,” Howe added.
Lake Country Power is keeping personnel working 24-hours around the clock until all members are restored from the storm.