Lake Country Power line crews are working hard to restore electric service following a series of thunderstorms Monday night, complicated by strong winds overnight Tuesday. Crews have restored power for 12,000 cooperative members since the height of Monday’s severe weather. Currently, more than 4,700 members are without service at 238 outage points.
The majority of those affected reside in St. Louis County where 2,800 members remain without service, including another 1,200 members in Itasca County. Also impacted are parts of Aitkin, Cass, Lake and Pine counties.
For safety reasons, line crews will be sent home at 10 p.m. Wednesday for much needed rest after working 24 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 Thursday morning for a 16-hour shift.
High winds Tuesday night caused further interruptions for members, including outages at the substations near Walker and Longville that were restored Wednesday morning.
“That wasn’t part of the original big storm,” said Wade Gould, LCP area supervisor. “Those are back on this morning. We had crews working on those two particular outages last night.”
Broken poles and downed lines are being reported, along with difficult road access from fallen trees. Crews are working to restore larger outage areas Wednesday and will focus on individual outages and broken poles afterward. Assessing the damages, Lake Country Power now expects full restoration of the system Friday.
“Some members need to be prepared for another night or two without power,” Gould said.
Lake Country Power is keeping personnel working 24-hours around the clock until all members are restored from the storm.
Tips for extended outages:
Make sure one of the phones in your home is not a cordless phone as these require electricity to charge, but also have a mobile phone for backup and charge it in your vehicle, if necessary.
Use a battery powered flashlight, not candles.
Keep a battery operated radio handy to listen for outage information and updates
Turn off electrical equipment you were using before the power went out
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food should keep for up to 48 hours in a freezer, if the door remains closed. If the outage persists, cover your refrigerator or freezer with a blanket, make arrangements to store food at another location, or purchase dry ice.
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Essential supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, extra supply of water, food.
Turn off and unplug your computer if you were using it. Buy a surge protector to protect the machine when power comes back on.
Keep extra water on hand in jugs or the bathroom tub for flushing the toilet as needed.