Xcel Energy Crews Continue To Do Repairs Following Storm, Thankful For No Ice In SE SD

Xcel Energy says they’re still cleaning up from the storm, but they say outages in southeast South Dakota could have been a lot worse.

Xcel Energy Community Relations Manager Eric Pauli said pointing to a leaning power pole, “This is a prime example of cleaning up.”

Xcel Energy says their crews are keeping busy, now responding to non-emergency calls that they couldn’t get to over the long weekend.

“We’re going to get to stuff that might not be causing an outage, but it’s still stuff that has a residual effect from the storm,” said Pauli. “This was actually caused by some of the winds that we had.”

With the bad weather conditions in their coverage area, they say they couldn’t get to everything right away.

xcel-christmas-storm“That’s the type of thing you’ll see when you get a strong wind, it can buckle the pole. It can be a good pole, if you get something, if you get a strong wind, like 50 to 60 mile per hour winds, weird things happen,” Pauli said.

At times, it simply wasn’t safe to have their linemen in a bucket in the air.

Pauli said, “In the areas where we can get to them and do it safely we access them. If we can’t, we have to wait until the weather dies down.”

On Christmas night into Monday morning, it was still all hands on deck. They had ten crews, with two to three people on each crew, out at one time.

“A lot of that, what you’ll run into especially in wooded areas like the interior of Sioux Falls or another small community, you’ll see a lot of tree branches falling on a power line,” said Pauli.

Xcel says they were fortunate though. They had to deal with one large outage, but mostly it was a bunch of small ones. Only 1,500 to 2,000 of their customers lost power.

“Our system is built to handle strong winds,” Pauli said.

Xcel says the Sioux Falls area is lucky they didn’t have to deal with much ice on the lines like the northeast and northwest portion of the state. They say that’s what causes the real havoc.

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