Some Cedar Rapids residents raised concerns after their power was shut off Tuesday on one of the warmer days of the summer. Alliant Energy spokesman, Ryan Stensland, says the power was shut down as part of planned repair to upgrade some power lines. “It impacted about 300 people, and the question has come up as to why we didn’t postpone it for a day or wait a week or whatever. And the answer is it was a system-reliability issue,” Stensland says.
He says they felt it was important to prevent even more unplanned power outages. “While we can go short periods of time in having part our system down or maybe not functioning at 100 percent — we did not want to extend that any longer than necessary,” Stensland says, “because it would not only impact those 300 customers, but it could impact many more customers in the area if something were to occur on the system.”
The work on the northwest side of the city started around 9:30 in the morning. Stensland says the potential for severe weather was also a factor. “And obviously when we are making these type of repairs and if we weren’t to complete the work it would leave our system vulnerable,” Stensland. “And given the warm weather we were having in addition to the potential for storms maybe moving through the area, that just makes our system that much more vulnerable if we don’t
make those repairs when we needed to.”
Stensland says the work was planned to take seven hours, but crews were able to get things done in about four hours.