Utility Officials: It Could Be Days Before Some Have Power Restored

Thu 4-11-2019

(Jackson, Mn.)-- Officials with atleast one local power utility say it could be days before some get their power restored, due to the magnitude of the damage. 

Joe Marthaler, Operations Manager for Jackson-based Federated Rural Electric, is telling his customers without power that they should "be prepared for extended outages". 

Marthaler says they have called for outside assistance. He says atleast 40 69 KV transmission line poles are broken. Most of those are owned by Great River Energy, a major power wholesaler who owns the transmission lines that serve a good deal of Federated REA's area. 

In addition, Marthaler says as of late this (Thurs.) afternoon Federated REA has 300 broken distribution line poles due to the ice and wind. He says about 51 major transmission line poles are broken in Federated's service area.

Marthaler says there's an eight mile stretch of lines down from north of Lakefield to the Wilder substation, as well north of the Round Lake substation and four miles south of Okabena and three miles west of Okabena. As of about 2:30 this afternoon (Thurs.), Marthaler said six of Federated REA's substations were without power. 

Federated REA has about 6,700 members in Jackson and Martin counties in southwest Minnesota.

Iowa Lakes Electric and Alliant Energy say they also have been dealing with numerous snapped off poles and downed power lines, mainly in Dickinson and Osceola counties. But the outages locally aren't as widespread or extensive as they are just to our north, in southwest Minnesota.