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Line crews working to restore power to thousands as ice and heavy snow brings down trees and powerlines

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Katie Thoresen
/
WXPR
Tree limbs weighed down by ice and snow broke off and took down powerlines.

Snow and ice led to school and business closure, messy roads, and thousands of power outages Wednesday.

Wisconsin Public Service says the Minocqua, Rhinelander, and Wabeno areas were some of the hardest hit by this spring snow storm.

“The challenges that [line crews] see during this type of weather is mainly the snow and ice weighing down tree limbs. That causes them to come into contact with our electric equipment and create those outages as well as those difficult road conditions while they’re trying to respond to make those repairs and restore power to customers who have been impacted,” said WPS spokesman Matt Cullen as describes what line crews have been encountering.

You should stay at least 25 feet away from any downed power lines and report them immediately.

You can report them and outages on WPS’s website or by calling 800-450-7240.

WPS has restored power to more than 50,000 customers as of Wednesday evening. As of 6:00 a.m. Thursday, more than 24,000 remained without power.

“Our crews are committed. They’re going to continue to work to restore service all the customers who have been affected. We’ve also brought in additional outside crews to help us with making those repairs,” said Cullen.

Cullen did not a have a timeline for restoration.

The winter weather warning for most of our area expired at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service forecast shows rain and snow continuing until early Thursday morning.

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