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Line crews work around the clock through harsh conditions to restore widespread power outages

WPS Outages.PNG

Tens of thousands of people across northern Wisconsin are without power.

The Wisconsin Public Service outage map shows around 36,000 customers with no electricity as of 3:00 p.m.

Line crews have been working through the night trying to keep up with downed powerlines.

“Crews are working to remove downed trees, replace broken utility poles and repair numerous downed power lines that were damaged by these destructive winds. Crews are making progress,” said Matt Cullen, WPS spokesperson.

They’ve restored power to more than 50,000 customers.

Cullen said the duration of this weather event has made restoration challenging.

“We’ve continued to see those high winds sustained throughout the day today and because of those we’ve seen more outages and damage to our network and because of that, unfortunately repairs in some areas will take longer. We’re letting our customers know that they should be prepared for an extended outage, said Cullen.

Another challenge has been how widespread the damage is.

WPS has its crews all over its service area.

Outages all across Wisconsin, the U.P. and other parts of the Midwest are putting a strain on resources.

“I know a number of other energy companies are also facing impacts from this storm,” said Cullen. “So really we’re working just with the crews we have internally as well as some of those outside crews that we were able to bring in.”

Xcel Energy and WE energies are also working on restoring power to their customers in northern Wisconsin and U.P.

Cullen says WPS prioritizes downed lines that are safety hazards, then restoring power to public services like hospitals and police stations.

It then works on repairs that will restore power to the most people before moving onto smaller outages.

“But I think the important thing to remember is our crews are going to be working non-stop to make repairs and restore power to all of our customers affected. They won’t stop that process until we are able to complete those repairs, again our crews are going to be out there. They’re going to be working as safely and as quickly as possible,” Cullen said.

Cullen reminds people to stay away from downed power lines.

You should report them immediately along with any outages.

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