Members still without power

Created: 4/13/10 (Tue) | Topic: Education

On April 12, Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative held a media event detailing some of the issues they are still facing in restoring power to south-central North Dakota residents following a Good Friday icestorm.

Today, Farm Bureau Communications heard from one of our members in that area, and they say they have been without power for 12 days, and it could be up to two weeks before their farm has its power restored.

Here is a fact sheet provided by Mor-Gran-Sou. The numbers are staggering:

A devastating ice and snow storm once again ravaged the Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative power system on
April 2. Some areas in the co-op’s service area received up to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow, which clung and accumulated on the power lines. Blustery winds added to the mix, and the power lines, which were already sagging from the snow’s tremendous weight, galloped and eventually snapped. Power poles also toppled like dominos.
The damage to the co-op’s power system is tremendous. Randy Ressler, manager of operations for Mor-Gran-Sou, reports the following:

POLES DOWN: more than 10,000 at the height of the storm; currently 6,000 poles still down
MILES OF LINE DOWN: approximately 525 at the height of the storm; currently 320 miles of line still down

The day of the storm, almost 100 percent of the co-op’s east/west power lines were on the ground in Morton County; about 85 percent of the east/west power lines were down in Grant County; and nearly  10 percent of the east/west power lines in Sioux County were down. For a map detailing the current damage, visit Mor-Gran-Sou’s Web site at
FAST FACTS: Mor-Gran-Sou estimates the co-op has approximately 825 miles of power line that runs east to west.
At the beginning of the restoration process, more than 500 miles of line lay on the ground. To put the damage in perspective, the amount of downed power line could almost stretch from Mandan, N.D., to Cheyenne, Wyo.

More than 700 poles are set each day, spanning nearly 35 miles of line. Ressler estimates line crews have built more than 200 miles so far, and continue to make progress.
CONSUMERS OUT OF POWER: More than 5,500 member-owners at the height of the outages. As of April 12,
Ressler estimates around 500 Mor-Gran-Sou consumers are still without power.
LENGTH OF OUTAGE FOR SOME RESIDENTIAL MEMBERS: Restoration efforts continue. Due to the geographic and structural extent of the damage, and potentially wet weather conditions, power restoration for all residential consumers may not be complete for another two weeks or longer.
NUMBER OF CREWS WORKING TO RESTORE POWER: Mor-Gran-Sou line crews, power line contractors from out of state, and neighboring co-op line crews are currently working to restore power. With support staff , more than 400 people are working on the disaster.

• Capital Electric, Bismarck: Reported 3,700 consumers out of power at the height of the outage; 400 poles down or damaged, and 47 contract employees brought in.
• McLean Electric, Garrison: Reported 1,700 consumers out of power at the height of the outage; 175 poles down or damaged, and 7 contract employees brought in.
• Roughrider Electric, Hazen and Dickinson: Reported 1,800 consumers out of power at the height of the outage; 535 poles down or damaged, and 65 contract employees brought in.
• Verendrye Electric, Velva: Reported 1,500 consumers out of power at the height of the outage; 200 poles down or damaged, and 12 contract employees brought in.

View photos by clicking here.

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