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MidAmerican Energy News

MidAmerican Energy crews respond to significant line damage in NW Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa – (April 11, 2019) – MidAmerican Energy Company today dispatched dozens of electric line workers, trucks and equipment, including emergency generators, to restore electric service to thousands of customers in northwest Iowa affected by Thursday’s intense storm.

Extremely high winds, along with snow and ice, downed more than 50 transmission line poles between Rock Valley and Inwood in Lyon County. The storm also knocked down 20 transmission line poles along a four-mile stretch between Sioux Center and Orange City in Sioux County. Transmission lines carry higher voltages over long distances.

At one point Thursday morning, storms affected electric service to more than 5,500 customers in northwest Iowa, including areas near Storm Lake, Sheldon, Orange City, Inwood and Rock Valley. Crew are responding to other impacted areas as well.

Observers reported galloping, or bouncing, overhead lines in many areas. Galloping, which can damage overhead lines and topple poles, may occur in high winds and icy conditions.

“In northwest Iowa, the storm significantly damaged the electric infrastructure in several rural areas, most notably our transmission system in Sioux and Lyon counties. Those lines are part of our system’s backbone for customers in those areas,” Jim Dougherty, vice president of electric delivery, said. “We’re blanketing those areas with line workers and equipment to make repairs and restore customers as soon as possible,” he added. “While we expect to restore some customers fairly soon, for others it will take longer due to the heavy damage.”

MidAmerican Energy assigned more than 100 line workers and support crews from northwest Iowa and other areas across the state to respond to customer restoration efforts, in addition to calling in outside contractor crews to assist.

The company is also delivering portable emergency generators from elsewhere in Iowa to assist customers whose service will likely be disrupted for several days. MidAmerican Energy will identify those customers and contact them directly to offer that option.

Stay away from downed power lines
If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and stay far away. Touching an energized line can be deadly. If you see a downed line, call MidAmerican Energy at 800-799-4443 to report it.

Sign up for alerts
MidAmerican Energy customers can sign up to receive text alerts or email notifications to let them know when crews are projected to make repairs in their area, and once they restore service. Customers can register through the My Account link at MidAmericanEnergy.com.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves more than 783,000 electric customers in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota, and 765,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available at MidAmericanEnergy.com and company social media channels.