September 4, 2014 Storm
The storm of September 4, 2014 changed our morning routine at 5:00 when the wind began to blow. The National Weather Service did not declare it a tornado, but from the damage we sustained it sure felt like one. By 6:00 we had three substations (Southdale, Nokay and Motley) down and 7,000+ members without power. The areas affected were Baxter, South Long Lake, Ft. Ripley, Nokay Lake, West of Pillager, Lake Shamineau, Lake Alexander and Motley. Our hands were left tied waiting for MN Power and Great River Energy (Transmission Companies) to repair their lines so our substations could be fed again. By 3:00 pm that afternoon transmission lines were cleared and substations were back on line, which restored power to many members.
At 5:00 there were 1,300 members without power, with the majority being from Upper South Long Lake, South Baxter and Lake Shamineau. These areas experienced downed trees and broken poles which is taking considerable time and labor for our crews to access and repair.
At 9:00, 500 members were without power, down from the 7,000+ we had started with in the morning. Crews worked throughout the night and will continue until power is restored to all members.
Friday, September 5th, morning brought the outage numbers down to 80 members, most being in the hard hit area of South Long Lake. With not only considerable damage, the areas were also extremely difficult to access due to the rough terrain.
By Friday evening, power was restored to all but 5 members in a very challenging area. And all power was restored to all members by early Saturday, September 6th around 1:00am.
In the span of 43 hours we restored over 7,000 member outages.
Thank you to High Line Construction and New Age Tree Service for their crew’s perseverance and teamwork in helping our crew’s in the field.
And of course, Thank You to our members for your patience and support of our line crews and staff. And Thank You for the many heartfelt comments/thank you’s to our crews and staff that you posted on Facebook, telephoned in and mailed in, it is very much appreciated!