Power outages across the state due to winter weather
Inches of rain, snow and extreme winds are all contributing to several power outages across the state of Nebraska as power crews fight the winter weather to make sure the lights stay on.
Locally, power outages in Kearney, Gibbon, Brady and McCook have all been reported.
Dawson public power district has had their hands full responding to different outages, with some requiring unique solutions to fix.
"Our most publicly known outage was transformer and some other electrical equipment that was flooded in the Kearney area near cotton mill and we had to have a line worker use his personal scuba gear to take some wires from the equipment and build a temporary service to get power back to those customers," said Chelsea Gengenbach
Dawson Public Power contracts with Nebraska Public Power district to operate their assistance call center out of Norfolk, unfortunately heavy rain has caused flooding near that center, prompting an evacuation, and delaying response times.
"I don't have all the details but I know there were some flooding issues so they relocated the facility to a different area so the employees were working out of a different facility today and any time you have to move or get into a different operations facilities that will cause some issues," Grant Otten of Nebraska Public Power District.
Those flooding issues continue to delay work on restoring power statewide.
"You look at some of the places like Columbus almost every access road from highway 30 to 81 are covered by water around the city so there are a lot of areas like that in the eastern portion of the state which is making it tough for crews to get out so response time is limited. Again its tough right now with the flooding and the blizzard conditions in the western half of the state," said Otten.
All of the companies we spoke to urged customers to always think of their safety first.
They urge you to inform you local emergency manager and power company as soon as you see a problem and if you see electrical equipment under water, or lines down from heavy winds do not approach them, as they could still cause electrocution without direct contact.
Dawson Public Power has restored service to the affected areas in Kearney and Brady, and plans to make permanent repairs once flood waters have receded.