Editorial: Thank you to those working to restore power

Published 7:15 pm Thursday, April 11, 2019

It has been a rough couple months in the area when it comes to weather.

After giving us hope with a few lovely spring days earlier this week, Mother Nature decided she wasn’t done with winter just yet and sent some snow and ice our way, leaving chaos in its wake.

Thousands are still without power as high winds and ice led to hundreds of downed poles throughout Freeborn County and the surrounding areas. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services reported approximately 6,700 power outages and 400 poles on the ground throughout its service area. The downed lines led to numerous road closures and school cancellations, and to Freeborn County declaring a state of emergency.

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The cooperative said efforts to restore power are more time-consuming because of the widespread outages, and while it was too early to predict a restoration time frame as of Thursday evening, people should prepare for multiple days depending on their location. Some in the coverage area could be without power through Monday evening.

In order to get power restored, cooperative employees as well as other utility service workers are braving the elements to repair the damage and replace unusable lines and poles — which can be dangerous on its own — on top of there still being a weather advisory in effect through Friday. Road workers are doing what they can to clear roads of tree limbs and other debris, and emergency personnel are working to keep everyone safe by closing off areas with downed lines that are still live and setting up emergency shelters for those stranded or without power.

Thank you to those working to keep us safe and restore electricity and other services. It’s a tough job being done in extreme conditions, and we appreciate you sacrificing time and energy to get everything up and running again.