A spokesperson for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives says they’ve made some headway in getting the power back on for their customers. Ann Foster says they estimate some 100,000 co-op customers lost power at the peak of the storm and they now believe that number now is 45,000, as she says there are more than 3,000 power poles down with about 300 of them the main transmission poles. Foster says they have some 40 substations that are still out.
Foster says they believe some 13,000 people will be without power in excess of 72 hours. Foster says people aren’t the only ones impacted by the storm. Foster says they have one northeastern Iowa coop that has about 200 livestock confinements without power. She says the confinements are running on generators right now. Foster says the coops are doing all they can to get the poles and power lines back up.
Foster says they have 500 people working on the lines, and have brought in crews from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Foster says it has been a long time since a storm hit Iowa doing this much damage. Foster says the Halloween night storm of 1991 comes to mind for many people, but Foster says some coop managers are calling it the worst storm they’ve seen in 35 to 40 years.
Brian Heitoff, manager of Consumers Energy, says his service area west of Marshalltown still has about 16-hundred customers without service. Heitoff says he appreciates everyone’s understanding but it could be tomorrow, maybe Wednesday, before they’re able to reach some areas like Melbourne, Collins and Huxley.
One problem is tree limbs that fell on power lines — and residents are reminded to not try to remove them, but to contact their power provider. Many communities sheltered residents without power at their community centers, churches, schools and fire stations — and will do so until electric service has been restored.
The state Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey says farmers in an emergency situation should contact their local Emergency Management Agency, their county Sheriff’s office, or the agriculture desk at the State Emergency Operations Center at: 515- 323-4267.