Electric cooperatives dealing with outages across South Dakota
Electric cooperatives throughout western South Dakota and the northern half of the state continue to experience outages incurred in Christmas Day storms which brought blizzard, strong winds, freezing rains and even lightning strikes to the state.
On Monday afternoon, thirteen cooperatives were reporting outages to 19,000 South Dakota co-op members’ homes and businesses.
At least six other cooperatives had also experienced outages in the storm but were able to make repairs by Monday afternoon.
Forty line workers from eight South Dakota cooperatives began arriving at five of the hardest-hit cooperatives Monday afternoon and will continue to arrive into Tuesday, as travel conditions permit.
Additionally, assistance from neighboring states has been requested, with those crews also expected to arrive on Tuesday.
Cooperatives are advising it may be several days before power is restored into all areas.
The storm has also affected cooperatives’ transmission suppliers, which bring electricity to local substations.
East River Electric Power Cooperative, headquartered in Madison, S.D., has damage in northeastern South Dakota from the Watertown and Clear Lake area north to the North Dakota border. Otter Tail Power Company, an investor-owned utility, is also having problems in the area, which in turn is affecting East River. Western Area Power Administration lines are also affected in the Summit area. As of 2 p.m. Monday, East River had 10 substations without power.
EREPC continues to assess the damage, but is aware of at least 260 transmission structures damaged in the storm.
For information on outages at electric cooperatives in the state, go to https://outages.sdrea.coop/outages/maps
South Dakota’s 28 distribution cooperatives provide electricity in each of the state’s 66 counties and serve more than 120,000 South Dakota homes, farms/ranches and businesses.
–South Dakota Rural Electric Association