Ten days after the Memorial Day storm, Lake Country Power members and line crews are facing the aftermath of yet another severe thunderstorm. The fast-moving storm brought damaging winds, heavy rain and lightning starting at 9:00 p.m. Monday evening, June 20. Broken poles and downed lines are being reported, along with difficult road access from fallen trees.
Line crews started working shortly after 9:00 p.m. last night and will work a straight 24-hour shift to make repairs. Overnight, crews restored service for 5,900 members. As of 9:00 a.m., Tuesday morning, 10,800 members are currently without power.
All available line crews are working, including the cooperative’s internal construction and tree crews. Lake States Construction is assisting near Cohasset and Mountain Iron.
“The damage is widespread and restoration work will most likely be lengthy for some areas,” said Derek Howe, P.E., chief operating officer. “It could be Thursday of this week before full restoration is able to happen if we don’t experience any unforeseen setbacks.”
After the first 24-hour shift, crews will work on a rotating schedule with 16-hour shifts starting Wednesday morning. Lake Country Power is keeping personnel working 24-hours around the clock as safety is paramount.
Recapping the Storm
When the storm first reached the co-op’s service area just after 9:00 p.m. Monday night, more than 4,000 co-op members near Leech Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Big Sandy Lake, Remer, Deer River, Boy River, Cohasset and north of Grand Rapids were impacted.
The numbers quickly grew to 7,000 members being affected as the storm moved northeast across Side Lake, Cook, Lake Vermilion and Ely. Additional outages were reported in the southern locations of Lake Country Power’s service area near McGregor.
By 11:30 p.m. Monday night, more than 16,800 Lake Country Power members were without service at the height of the storm, represented by 330 scattered outages for crews to repair.
Members who rely on household generators for backup power should take caution. Be sure the generator was installed properly, preferably by a qualified electrician. Otherwise, back feeding of electricity on the powerlines may occur, causing injury or even death to unsuspecting line workers.
Lake Country Power, www.lakecountrypower.coop, is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative serving parts of eight counties in northeastern Minnesota. The rural electric cooperative provides services to more than 43,000 members and has offices located in Cohasset, Kettle River and Mountain Iron.
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.