4,800 Excel Customers Still Without Power
by KDLT News
April 13, 2013 4:38 PM
Crews repairing Xcel Energy’s electricity grid, which was damaged by an ice storm this week, made more progress Saturday.
Approximately 90,000 customers in Sioux Falls and other communities in South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota experienced outages since the storm hit Tuesday, and Xcel Energy expects to restore service to the vast majority of customers still without power by Friday night.
Crews have restored power to an estimated 85,000 customers; at this hour, work continues to restore service to approximately 4,800 customers.
Xcel Energy expects to complete service restoration by tomorrow Sunday, if the customer’s residence is able to receive service. If the storm damaged the customer’s mast – a pipe-like housing that connects service wires to a home’s meter – the customer must contact an electrician for repairs before service can be reconnected.
In restoring power after a storm, Xcel Energy gives top priority to situations that threaten public safety, such as live, downed wires. The remaining work initially is prioritized based on what will restore power to the largest number of customers most quickly.
After crews have re-energized the major lines, they can more effectively track down causes of outages along the lower-voltage distribution lines. This method of restoration allows crews to safely work on the distribution system. The ice storm restoration effort now is at the stage where Xcel Energy is also focusing on restoring power to customers who have been out the longest.
Xcel Energy officials want to thank customers for their patience during this long and challenging process. Crews have been since Tuesday morning, and Xcel Energy wants to assure customers that all available resources are dedicated to getting power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
A workforce of more than 420 is in the field dedicated to the restoration effort. Xcel Energy crews from South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota and contractor partners from Iowa and Wisconsin are deployed in the affected communities. Responding to a call for mutual aid, additional crews from Minnesota Power, Omaha Public Power District, Kansas City Power & Light and Otter Tail Power are in South Dakota to assist with the effort.