March 29 – 4:15 p.m.
Grand Rapids, MN – Saturday night’s snowstorm is affecting electric service for more than 6,700 Lake Country Power members. At the height, more than 9,400 members were impacted. Line crews worked through the night and are currently working to restore service at more than 250 various outage points. Those affected are primarily in the southeastern parts of the cooperative’s service area, including Carlton, Aitkin, St. Louis and Pine counties.
The storm brought up to six inches of heavy, wet snow for some areas including strong winds.
The heavy snow snapped trees and limbs which fell onto power lines, taking many to the ground. When the snow turned to rain, it caused some lines to “gallop,” meaning the lines were slapping each other when the weight of the snow released only to blow the fuse again.
There are many lines down, which is priority during the outage repair work. If people see a line down, do not go near it because it may be energized. Stay clear and allow lineworkers to make the repairs safely.
Broken poles are being reported, primarily near Wright so far. Lake States Construction crews are working on those replacements.
LCP has all available line crews currently working to restore power (a total of 17 LCP line crews), and two additional crews from Lake States Construction.
Some line crews have been working since last night and are still at it today. Crews will continue working until 10 p.m. tonight, and then will be sent home for safety and rest reasons before resuming work Monday morning. Some line crews will work overnight into the morning.
Lake Country Power anticipates that an undetermined number of outages will last through Monday.
Line crews are facing several challenges working through heavy, wet snow and rain. Travel is slick, soft and wet as well. Lake Country Power’s crews are healthy and will work to restore power as safely and quickly as conditions allow.
Members may call the cooperative at 1-800-421-9959 to report an outage, or visit the Outage Center online at www.lakecountrypower.coop or http://outage.lcp.coop for an outage status. Updates will be posted on LCP’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lakecountrypower.
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.