Thousands of Iowans are still without power today after Wednesday’s ice storm coated much of the state.
MidAmerican Energy spokesman Mark Reinders says things got bad early in the evening. He says the peak rate saw roughly 31,000 customers without power early Wednesday around six o’clock.
Reinders says Carroll County had some of the worst problems. Reinders says the rural parts of Carroll County are among the hardest hit and another trouble spot is near Audubon in Ida County.
He says both of those areas suffered a lot of damage in the Christmas storm and the new ice has made it worse. Reinders says there are roughly 100 utility poles down in Carroll County.
Reinders says they are working as fast as they can to restore the power, but it will take some time. He says some of the customers in the hardest hit areas will not get power back until Sunday. Reinders says they are concentrating their efforts in those areas and some of the areas that have had power out the longest. He says they have crews from neighboring states working to restore electricity.
Reinders says they brought in crews yesterday and today and are bringing in additional crews today from Indiana, Wisconsin and the Chicago area, while they’ve had crews from Kansas and Missouri already working. Reinders asks the public to help them identify problems.
Reinders says they are stressing the importance of being aware of the problems with downed power lines and he says they ask anyone who sees a downed line to call the company. Reinders says this storm has been a tough one to keep up with.
Reinders says the number of customers probably doesn’t seem significant, but he says the number of incidents has been a problem. He says a crew will go out and make a repair to equipment and that will only bring a small number of customers back on-line. Reinders says that’s due to the rural nature of these outages. Reinders says they will restore power to key facilities like hospitals first and then move on and restore power to other customers as soon as possible.