The blast of arctic air that’s blown into Iowa is blamed for power outages across the state. Tina Potthoff is a spokesperson for MidAmerican Energy. “Many of the outages are related to the wind and chilly temperatures that may be causing our equipment to break or lines to come down,” Potthoff says.
MidAmerican had more 1,000 customers without power at one point overnight. The largest outage was around Clarksville and Charles City. “We’re still investigating the cause of that, but we do believe it is weather-related,” Potthoff says.
Other power outages have impacted MidAmerican customers around the Quad Cities, Des Moines, and Carroll. “We have all hands on deck, working 24-7, making sure our customers get their power restored as efficiently and safely as possible,” Potthoff says.
Alliant Energy reports around 1,200 customers in Wright, Hancock, Franklin and Cerro Gordo counties lost electricity overnight when a transmission line went down. Alliant officials say power was restored to the area by 6:30 a.m.
Potthoff says customers should always report a power outage, even if they can see it’s affecting more than just their home or business. “Customers should never assume someone else has reported a power outage,” Potthoff says. “It actually helps when customers call because we can then pinpoint the source of the outage and it could potentially accelerate the restoration process.”
Potthoff is also encouraging customers affected by a power outage to remain patient. “We are, in some cases, sending double the amount of crews than we normally would to make sure that they’re staying safe…with the cold temperatures,” Potthoff says. “Men may have to come in and get warm and other crews will then be in their place to make those repairs.”
All 99 Iowa counties are under a Wind Chill Warning – as wind chill readings are hitting 25-to-55-degrees below zero. The National Weather Service reports this is Iowa’s coldest weather since February of 1996.
Reporting in Webster City by Pat Powers, KQWC, and Pat Curtis, Radio Iowa