Thousands of Iowans are trying to stay warm after Tuesday’s ice storm knocked out power to their homes. Utility crews worked through the overnight restoring electricity, but it could be days before everyone is back on line.
Ryan Stensland, a spokesperson for Alliant Energy, says Iowans without power should check their outdoor meter socket to make sure it’s not damaged. Utility crews, by law, are not allowed to fix damaged meter sockets – so residents need to call an electrician.
Stensland says, "Often times we find – while we’ve made all the repairs up to your home – it’s actually damage to the wiring to your home or inside your home that still needs to be repaired, and that could delay getting your power back on." One of the big problems utility crews are facing in restoring power involves falling tree branches .
Stensland says crews will sometimes get lines repaired and power restored to an area – only to have an ice-covered tree branch fall on another nearby line – cutting power to the area again. MidAmerican and Alliant Energy both called in workers from other areas to help with power restoration in central, southern, and eastern Iowa.
"We have crews coming in from the Spirit Lake and Dubuque areas and southern Minnesota," Stensland says. In addition to MidAmerican and Alliant Energy , thousands of customers served by Iowa rural electric cooperatives are also without power because of the storm.