West Central Minnesota Electric Utilities Prepared For Big Storm
James Allen | Mar 14, 2019 AT 5:30 am
It’s the big question everyone keeps asking. How dangerous will the biggest storm of the year be in terms of ice and snow? Local utilities have already prepared for the worst when dealing with ice on the lines and the effect that wind might have.
Vice President of Business Development with Lake Region Electric Cooperative, Dan Husted says rain turning to ice on power lines with wind can create a phenomenon known as galloping. He says galloping wires with the added weight of ice will break wires, pole-top hardware, cross-arms and can bring down long stretches of poles. This phenomenon usually occurs on east/west power lines with strong northwest winds. Husted said their crews are ready for any outcome. They do recommend if there is an outage, LREC members can go to the Outage Center on the LREC website on their smart phones to https://www.lrec.coop/customer-service/outage-center.
Vice President of Public Relations for Otter Tail Power, Rebecca Michaels says their crews are already prepared for extreme storm events like this one, as they enhance their systems and train for just these types of events throughout the year. She says communication with their customers is the most important part, keeping them informed during the whole process. Here’s what going on, here’s what we’re expecting. Michaels also emphasized how important it is to stay away from downed power lines and to contact them immediately if there are any issues like that. You can visit their outage center at their website at: https://www.otpco.com/outages
All electric customers are reminded that snow and difficult road conditions can slow travel time for crews responding to outages.