As Minnesotans prepare for extreme Midwestern weather during Severe Weather Awareness Week April 17-21, Great River Energy and its 27 member-owner cooperatives and customers are prepared to keep the power flowing to homes, farms and businesses.
“Though most end-use members experience very little time without electricity, we do see an increase in disruption of electric service during severe weather,” said Mark Peterson, system operations manager for Great River Energy. “During severe weather, such as tornados, straight-line winds and hail, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, and stay away from downed powerlines.”
If you see a downed power line, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Stay away from it and call 911 to report it immediately. There is no way to tell if a power line is energized just by looking at it. Always assume it can carry currents strong enough to kill.
- Never drive over a downed power line if it is blocking your driveway or road. Call 911 to report it and find another route.
- Never touch anything that is also touching a power line, including trees with limbs caught in a power line.
- If a power line falls on your car or otherwise contacts your vehicle, stay in your vehicle. Use your cell phone to call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
- If you must exit your vehicle (due to fire), jump clear of the vehicle without touching it. Land with your feet together and shuffle away.
When severe weather causes widespread damage, sometimes outages can be extended. Great River Energy and its 27 member-owner cooperatives and customers work hard to restore power quickly and safely. The first focus is on removing any threats to public safety, then following established priorities for making repairs that will restore the most members first.
For more information and videos about how your power is restored, how to prepare an emergency kit, how to keep food fresh and more, visit greatriverenergy.com/restoringyourpower.