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Recap of Weekend Power Outages


Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in Rushford The Great Outdoors

RUSHFORD, Minn. — Three days of storms that brought heavy rain and lightning have left Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TEC) employees and members hoping for a break from Mother Nature. Power outages began Friday morning (June 21) and continued on and off through Sunday (June 23) with 71 separate outages affecting 1,200 members.

“Lightning and trees coming down on the power lines were the main causes of the power outages on Friday and into Saturday,” says Chad Chaffee, TEC’s vice president of system operations. “By Sunday the ground was becoming saturated. Large trees were being uprooted and leaning into power lines. In some cases we were faced with roads washed out or barricaded due to flooding.”

Flooding was a problem for about 160 members served by the Houston Substation on Sunday. Crews worked to restore power by line switching, however, about 10 members did not have power returned until earlier today once the water receded.

“We want to thank our members for their patience as our crews worked around the clock to restore electricity,” Chaffee adds.

If power goes out, TEC members should call 1-800-432-2285. When significant outages occur, information is posted on the co-op’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/TriCountyElectricCooperativeMN. A power outage map is also available 24/7 by visiting www.tec.coop and clicking on the “Outages” tab.

Tips for staying safe during flooding:

• With rain forecasted over the next few days, TEC asks that you be on alert for flashing flooding, especially when driving at night. Also, be aware of electrical hazards associated with flooding.

• TEC and Safe Electricity have the following tips to help you stay safe during flooding:

• Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances, or cords.

• Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you cannot reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.

• Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches, or fuses when you are wet or when you are standing in water.

• Do not drive in flood waters. It is difficult to tell by sight how deep floodwaters are. It only takes six inches of water for your car to lose control and stall. Your car could be swept out of control and into electrical dangers. Accidents related to driving are the leading killer related to floods.

• If you see downed power lines or damaged equipment, stay away, warn others to stay away, and notify your utility.

Cleaning up and using water-damaged appliances also carry safety risks. If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced.

TEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving three counties in Minnesota including Winona, Houston and Fillmore and parts of Olmsted and Mower counties in Minnesota and Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee counties in Iowa. It provides electricity to more than 12,800 services in the area. TEC is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

Safe Electricity is a program of the Energy Education Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency and supported by a coalition of hundreds of organizations, including electric utilities, educators and other entities committed to promoting safe use of electricity.

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