A Step-by-Step Look at Power Restoration

Whenever the electricity goes out, we’ve come to expect service will be restored within a few hours at most. But when a major ice storm or tornadoes cause widespread damage, longer outages cannot be helped. Line crews work long, hard hours restoring service, but it’s a task that needs to be done methodically to be done safely.

Every co-op follows a basic principle when it comes to restoring power: priority goes to the lines that will get the most people back in service the quickest. This usually begins with main lines and continues out to tap lines and then to individual service lines.

Exceptions are made for people on life-supporting medical equipment. Notify your co-op immediately if someone in your family uses such equipment, and always have a backup generator ready.

 

Restoring Power from NRECA on Vimeo.

A big storm has just hit the countryside! What happens next?


Finally, all power is restored to the area.

Please note: The cooperative line crew may need to come out in the following days and weeks to make long-term repairs and rebuild sections of line that were severely damaged by the storm. This might mean you will find blinking clocks when you get home from work or be notified of planned short-term power outages. It might also mean tree-trimming crews will be in the area to make sure rights-of-way are clear of overhanging tree branches. Wind and ice storms can topple trees into power lines which account for many of the outages in wooded areas. When you see the orange diamond-shaped “Utility Work Ahead” or similar warning signs along the road, be sure to slow down and give the line crews plenty of room. They might just be working on the power line that powers your home. If you ever have questions about outages and repairs, be sure to call your local electric cooperative office.