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United Cooperative Services News

Huff and Puff

Spring storm wreaks havoc

Lest we forget, Mother Nature invariably reminds us she’s in charge. And her notice usually isn’t delivered delicately.

Weather fronts that spin up as a result of rising temperatures and colliding high and low pressure systems, trademark weather patterns that have tampered with the tranquility of spring times in the South and Midwest for ages, can be crippling forces at their peak.

United endured another round of those in March when a line of severe thunderstorms marched across most of the state and caused power outages throughout most of United’s territory, with Hood and Johnson counties taking the brunt of the damage.

At the height of the storm, more than 10,000 United members were affected by damage caused by severe straight-line winds, lightning, trees and limbs on power lines, as well as a considerable number of toppled power poles.

Even before initial storm damage assessments were complete, United operations crews were mobilized and began immediately restoring service to as many members as possible.

Despite the typical clearing work associated with large storm impacts, cooperative line crews, along with the aid of contractors, had restored power to all but about 300 meters after 12 hours, and only 30 meters remained without power after the restoration period had nearly concluded 24 hours after the storm hit.

As is the case in any severe weather event, United used its website (outage dashboard), Facebook and Twitter to keep members updated about the ongoing status of the immense restoration effort, and to remind members about staying away from and reporting downed power lines, and the importance of contacting the cooperative to report an outage and the various ways to do so, i.e. via text messaging or by calling one of United’s six local offices.