May Storms Cause Significant Damage to Distribution System

June 27, 2022

In May, two different severe weather events caused significant damage to our Cooperative’s distribution system. On Thursday, May 12, our service territory was hit with multiple rounds of severe weather, which led to widespread outages throughout our service territory, impacting 43 of the 71 townships we serve.

Then on Memorial Day this year, we once again experienced multiple rounds of severe weather, which caused numerous outages and damage to our power lines.

Even though the storms are behind us, cleanup continues. We are currently assessing the damage to our distribution system and working with applicable County Emergency Managers and the State’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.

Storm damage occurs every year, but more often than not, the Cooperative is not reimbursed for repairs like these. The damage estimates and supporting documentation we provide will help in completing a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Preliminary Damage Assessment and potentially lead to receiving State or Federal assistance funds for repair and recovery costs due to these two unique and significant weather events.

Here are some statistics from the outages and restoration efforts:

* When wires go down because of wind and broken poles or insulators, the wire often breaks or is severely damaged. Either the existing wire or new wire needs to be attached to the wire that is still strung up on the poles. Auto splices are used to attach the wires back together.

We want to extend a special thank you to the external field workers from the following organizations who helped us restore power to our members following the May 12 storm:

  • City of Melrose
  • Skyline Utilities
  • Highline Construction
  • Legacy Power

We appreciated your patience and gratefulness to our crews and employees as we worked as quickly and safely as possible to restore your power after the extensive damage.