Thousands Of Electric Co-Op Members Get Power Restored
Power Restored Early Friday Morning To Thousands Of Members In Northeastern South Dakota
SOUTH DAKOTA – Power was restored early Friday morning to thousands of electric cooperative members in northeastern South Dakota after the Christmas weekend ice and wind storm.
Crews began reenergizing the lines Thursday evening, with consumers seeing their power restored overnight. Cooperative officials estimate that power will be restored to most of the remaining members by the end of the weekend, pending weather conditions and repair progress.
On Monday, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard declared a state of emergency which helped facilitate the movement of out-of-state crews into South Dakota to aid with power restoration at the hardest-hit electric cooperatives. A lineman crew from Wisconsin-based Dairyland Power Cooperative is in South Dakota to help with repairs. East River Electric crews and a number of transmission contractors are also assisting with restoration. Nearly 90 linemen and maintenance personnel are on the scene working to restore power. Mild weather through the week also helped crews make faster repairs than earlier anticipated.
“At a time like this, cooperatives pull together to get the lights back on. We appreciate the extra crews and assistance sent by Dairyland and all of the cooperatives that helped in the repair efforts,” said East River Electric General Manager Tom Boyko.
The Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) substation in the Summit, S.D., area lost structures in all three of its high-voltage substation feeds from the north, south and west. East River Electric Power Cooperative takes power from that WAPA substation to energize a number of its substations and provides power in some of the electric cooperative service territories. East River’s transmission system suffered severe damage to almost 500 structures and each of the area’s distribution cooperatives also suffered extensive structural damage.
Cooperative officials note that much repair work is left to be done and any change in wind or weather could delay progress and cause additional outages. Construction and maintenance crews will remain in the area over the next several weeks making system repairs.