4/12/2013 1:24:00 PM Federated beefs up staff for power line repairs in Jackson, Martin counties
Six more linemen are joining the restoration efforts for Federated Rural Electric. They are from Brown County REA in Sleepy Eye and BENCO Electric in Mankato.
This brings the total linemen working the restoration efforts to 54.
"We are down from 1,400 members to 1,200 without power as of 11:30 a.m.," said Joe Marthaler, Federated's operations manager. "We have the poles, cross arms and other parts ordered and arriving to keep the linemen restoring power. Federated members with downed wires from their meter to the house or outbuildings need to call an electrician for those repairs, Federated crews will not be fixing them. Federated is responsible for connections up to the meter."
This afternoon crews will be working in the following areas: Karian Peterson crews will be working in the following areas rebuilding lines: Alba Township and north of Okabena. BENCO and Brown County REA will be working south of the Wilder substation. Federated's line crews will be working in Des Moines, Belmont and Sioux Valley Townships. Line crews and will continue as late as possible tonight.
OUTAGE RESTORATION UPDATE "Federated members should still prepare themselves that these power outages could last an extended period of time," stated Richard Burud, Federated's general manager. "Fill up the fuel tank for the generator, go to a neighbor/friend's house that has power and be prepared for the worst. Reach out to your elderly neighbor who may need some assistance."
Federated restores power based on returning the most customers at a time. For example, priority is given to restoring a substation, which may have hundreds off, then major distribution three-phase lines, then single phase lines before restoring individual outages.
Members worried about their freezers should call the U.S. Department of Agriculture's special Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. A good rule of thumb is that food in a full freezer will stay frozen for about two days. Food in a half full freezer will last about one day. Do not open the door unnecessarily.
Members buying new generators need to be careful to not backfeed electricity on to the power lines; linemen could be shocked thinking these lines are dead while restoring power. Pull the breaker at the meter, plug only certain items into the generator or contact your local electrician.
Federated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative serving 5,000 members in Jackson and Martin Counties.