At work for you 24/7, no matter the weather
When the power goes out, every minute counts for our customers. That’s why our crews work around-the-clock to restore power quickly and safely. Severe weather is the usual culprit.
Restoring power safely
Although we pride ourselves on our 99% reliability rating, power outages do occur. We work tirelessly to make those outages as short and infrequent as possible, keep you informed of our progress getting the power back on and giving you the information you need to stay safe during an outage or in severe weather.
Watch the video below to learn what it takes to get the power back on.
Below are the most common causes of power outages
Tree branches can collapse even in ideal conditions. Tree limbs touching power lines or falling onto electrical equipment are frequently the cause of power outages. Weather, tree age and pruning all impact how often trees interfere with your power. Falling branches often cause a power surge or flickering.
Lightning often strikes tall objects like trees, utility poles, wires and transformers to serve as a conductor. When lightning strikes electrical equipment, it can cause a loss of power.
Any wind can cause tree limbs or debris to break or fall onto power lines, which can cause dimming lights or an interruption of service. Severe wind can also break or damage poles and electrical equipment, causing service interruptions.
Ice and Snow
Buildup of snow and ice can become heavy and cause power lines to break. Tree limbs weighted with snow can also break and fall on power lines or break poles.
Rain and Flooding
Heavy rain and melting snow can both cause flooding. Flood waters can damage above ground and underground electrical equipment. In some cases, city inspectors require energy companies to temporarily turn off service to certain areas to protect the public from electrical hazards.
Vehicles coming into contact with utility poles is a common cause of power outages.
Small animals, such as squirrels and birds, frequently come into contact with transformers, fuses or other energized equipment. Contact from animals can cause a fault, which is an interruption in the flow of power that can make your power flicker or go out. Watch how we install equipment in our substations to help prevent small animals from coming into contact with energized lines.
Contractors, landscapers or homeowners can damage underground electrical equipment when digging. If you are planning to dig or hiring someone to dig on your property, remember to call 811 two days before to have underground utility lines marked.
Poor Connection or Faulty Equipment
Customer-owned electrical facilities such as lines after the meter and wires to outdoor lights or outbuildings may malfunction and cause outages. Contact a qualified electrician to have facilities inspected regularly. Also, learn what equipment is the homeowner’s responsibility to repair.
To maintain and repair our equipment safely, we may schedule planned outages in some areas. You will be notified in advance of a planned outage.
Getting your power back on safely
We respond immediately to reports of an outage. Locating the source of a power outage without service crews physically inspecting electric lines and equipment can be difficult, especially during storms or at night. In many cases, during severe weather, roads are impassable, adding to the challenge of restoring service safely.
That’s why we are installing hundreds of smart devices, called remote fault indicators, to electric lines to help restore service more quickly if an outage occurs. These devices instantly transmit outage and location details to MidAmerican Energy's control room if they detect a service interruption.
Once it is safe for our crews to travel into your area, they will first drive through to assess the damage, and then return later with equipment and personnel to make repairs.
As we assess damage, and evaluate the equipment, personnel and time needed to make repairs, we take these factors into account:
Damaged transmission towers, poles and lines
Damaged substations and locked-out circuits
Fallen feeder and distribution lines
Trees and branches on lines
Neighborhoods sustaining the most damage
Number of customers affected
Learn how to stay safe during and after a power outage.