By Sara Kirkley, Weekend Anchor / Reporter - email
Work continued to restore power in eastern Nebraska after Tuesday’s storm knocked out electricity to thousands.
Nebraska Public Power District was able to restore power quickly to many impacted by Tuesday's storms, with fewer than 800 customers going without power overnight.
An estimated 5,000 NPPD customers were without power between 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
Spokesman Mark Becker says the areas of Craig and Tekamah were hit extra hard causing it to take longer to restore power to customers there. Becker says power to those areas was restored by 10:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Multiple power company crews were out Tuesday night and again Wednesday.
They said high winds blew trees, pivots and even a grain bin into power lines.
At the peak of Southern Power District's outages a quarter of Hamilton and a portion of Merrick Counties were without power after a major subtransmission line and five substations lost power.
A dozen customers were the last to come on in their area Wednesday afternoon.
That's because new poles had to go up, which power officials say, could help in the next storm.
"Any time you put up a new pole that does offer some strength for the system, so that is a positive to this. Whenever this happens it is an inconvenience, but we do have some new poles going out there and that is certainly helpful," said LeAnne Doose at Southern Power District.
Even though most people have power, both companies say their work isn’t over.
Becker said NPPD hopes to have four transmission lines that went down near North Loup back up by the weekend.
Southern Power District has several poles to replace, which is expected to take a few days.
Even then, Doose said the danger may not be over.
"There was a lot of damage. There is a possibility there might be a weakened pole out there that would collapse if another gust of wind came up,” she said. “It's important to remember this all the time, but we would urge people to be cautious if they do come across a power line that is down even this far out from storm always, always assume that those lines are energized."
Doose said contact your local power company immediately if you see a line down.