Crews Work to Restore Electricity in South Dakota

May 5, 2008

Fourteen electric cooperatives were sending crews to northwest South Dakota to help Grand Electric Cooperative with repairs from ice, snow and strong winds.

Grand Electric’s general manager, Jerry Reisenauer, said the damage was still being assessed.

“I won’t be surprised if we don’t have 1,000 poles down,” he said.

He said much of the damage is in the same area that sustained significant damage in an April 2006 ice storm.

Reisenauer estimated power was out to 1,500 residential and commercial customers — one-third of the co-op’s 4,500 metered customers.

Track-mounted diggers and National Guard equipment was being brought in to help crews get through the mud, according to the South Dakota Rural Electric Association.

“And we’re going to depend on a lot of farmers and ranchers to pull us from pole to pole because that’s what is going to happen,” said Reisenauer. “It’s a lot of muck we’ll be wading in.”

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