Major construction continues to restore last customers

Thursday, June 22, 11:15 p.m.

Fewer than three dozen customers remain without power from Friday’s storm, which turned out to be the utility’s fourth worst storm ever in terms of outages with 76,500.  These customers were told Wednesday that it would likely take until the end of day Friday until they would be restored due to the amount of construction necessary to rebuild the lines. Thursday, more than 340 utility workers worked on  rebuilding lines in two areas. Work will continue Friday until all have been restored.

5 p.m.

OPPD continues making progress on outages from Friday’s storms and a few scattered ones that have cropped up today. Check our map for the latest. We hope to have all but 42 customers restored by tonight, and all customers restored by tomorrow, barring any unexpected developments.

With local meteorologists hinting at the possibility of storms tonight, we remind customers that there’s a slight chance of new outages. Please report any outages  OPPD, either online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

11 a.m.

With outage numbers down to 129 following the 76,500 that followed Friday’s destructive storm, the sheer number of utility workers still doing restoration tells the story.

Today, 344 utility workers hit the ground running at 6 a.m. Of these 188 are OPPD employees and 156 are mutual aid and contract workers. These crews are constructing two lines that suffered severe damage. One is in the Buccaneer Bay area, the other is in Springfield.

Crews work to repair power poles and lines. Photo by Andrew Roger/OPPD

The 42 customers served by these lines were told yesterday that they would not be back until Friday due to the extent of the work that still had to be done.

This is the third consecutive day that the crews have been working long hours  in temperatures in the upper 90s. These utility workers are used to working outside and are well-trained on the need to stay hydrated, with plenty of water and Gatorade.

nonetheless, we have safety teams checking on crews and making sure they have what they need. Yesterday, we saw a few cases of heat-related illness. These factors require that we make sure workers get to cooler spots to rest and stay hydrated.

6:30 a.m.

OPPD and crews here to help with restoration are back at it already today, continuing the tedious tasks that will bring the remaining customers back online. About 600 remain without power. Much of the remaining effort revolves around rebuilding and restringing power lines. With the high heat, and OPPD has reminded crews to take necessary steps to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Wednesday, June 21, 10:45 p.m.

After working through the heat of the day, outage numbers are currently just over 600 with the majority in Sarpy County, which was among the hardest hit areas. That’s 99 percent of the 76,500 at the peak of the storm.

A total of 436  — 185 from OPPD, 182 mutual aid and contractors and 69 Forestry workers — endured temperatures nearing 100 for the second day in a row. Among the progress today was restoration of several transmission circuits. OPPD plans to stay in storm mode through Friday based on current weather forecasts.

Crews will be back at work at 6 a.m.

With local meteorologists hinting at the possibility of storms through Thursday, we remind customers that there’s a slight chance of new outages if high winds start up. Please report any outages  OPPD, either online or by calling 1-800-554-6773. Please continue to check our outage map for the latest number and location of service disruptions.

3:50 p.m.

Outage numbers continue to trend downward, slowly, as OPPD and mutual aid crews work to replace some 400 downed poles after Friday night’s storm. More than 100 of those are high-voltage transmission lines, which involve added manpower and bigger equipment.

At this time, fewer than 700 customers are without power, down from the peak of 76,500 from Friday night. However, the outage number could fluctuate a bit during rebuilding efforts. With the chance of severe weather tonight and tomorrow, more outages could occur. Even without severe weather, winds could be strong enough to knock down tree limbs that were weakened in Friday nights’ storm.

More than 400 OPPD and mutual aid workers continue to rebuild and repair equipment to bring power back to those who lost it. We still hope to have the number of outages down, closer to 100 or so, by the end of the day, with repairs lasting a bit longer for the remaining customers.

Customers experiencing a new outage should reported it to OPPD, either online or by calling 1-800-554-6773. Please continue to check our outage map for the latest number and location of service disruptions.

11:15 a.m.

Outage numbers show about 1,100 customers now as crews from OPPD and mutual aid responders continue working to restore those customers who remain without power after storms blew across the service territory Friday night. Crews will continue their restoration efforts amid the heat.

The National Weather Service in Valley, Neb., said there is about a 20 to 30 percent chance of storms hitting the OPPD service territory later tonight. The storms could develop in northeast and central Nebraska and if they hold together,  could move into the OPPD service territory about 10 p.m. or later. If the storms do develop, they could be severe.

It’s important that customers without power, or those who lose power, report their outages online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

Wednesday, 8:45 a.m.

Outage numbers are at about 1,600 as OPPD and mutual aid crews continue to work on restoring the remain out outages from Friday’s storm.  The heat today and storms forecast for later today may bring additional challenges or new outages.

Customers experiencing a new outage should reported it to OPPD, either online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

Please continue to check our outage map for the latest number and location of service disruptions. We will post more updates here throughout the day.

5:00 a.m.

Power was mostly restored to the locked out circuits referenced below in two phases at 4:33 a.m. and 4:53 a.m. There are still about 100 outages south of the Platte River related to those lockouts that are under investigation at this time.

Crews will continue to work on storm-related restoration, as well, which accounts for around 1,800 remaining outages. This is a very time-intensive phase of repairs, as we still need to replace many poles and wires. We still ask customers without power to please make sure they have reported it to OPPD, either online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

Please continue to check our outage map for the latest number and location of service disruptions. We will post more updates here throughout the day.

3:20 a.m.

Our crews are investigating what’s behind several new circuit lockouts overnight. These lockouts account for more than 4,300 additional outages.

These additional outages are in the following areas:

  • West Dodge Rd. to County Road G, 216th St. to Campanille Rd.
  • Town Center Dr. to Platteview Rd., Highway 75 to 29th St.
  • Platte River to Bay Rd., Beach Rd. to Buccaneer Blvd.

Customers who wake up to discover they have lost power, or those who have not previously reported an outage, should do so online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

We will post information here as we learn more. Please continue to check our outage map for the latest number and location of outages in our service territory.

Tuesday, 8:55p.m.

The heat-related outages in the north rural part of our service territory have been restored.

Our crews continue to focus on restoring remaining outages stemming from Friday night’s storms, with a goal of having most customers back online by the end of Wednesday. Right now, more than 1,800 customers remain without power. However, that number may fluctuate throughout the night.

Many poles are in need of replacement in order to get a relatively small number of customers back online. Our efforts are slow-going and labor intensive at this stage, as we continue to work to bring power back to our customers.

We will bring power back as quickly and as safely as we can, considering the amount of damage to our system. Please see our outage map for the latest number and location of service disruptions.

It’s important that customers without power, or those who lose power, report their outages online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

We will provide another update here in the morning.

7:45 p.m.

The north rural part of our service territory is experiencing a number of non-storm related outages this evening, which is complicating our ongoing restoration efforts. The outages in and around the areas in and around Blair, Arlington, Nickerson and Kennard appear to be caused by heat stress on electric equipment.

While storm-related outages currently account for about 1,600 current outages, the additional outages bring our total number to more than 3,700 outages at this time. Our crews continue to work to restore power to those impacted by Friday’s storms, as well as those experiencing outages this evening.

We urge all customers without power who have not reported it to please do so online or by calling 1-800-554-6773. Please also report if you had power restored and lost it again. It is important that we know about these issues in order to fix the problems.

Our outage map will continue to have the latest number and location of outages in OPPD’s service territory.

3:58 p.m.

At this time, about 2,900 customers remain without power. This is the most work-intensive portion of our restoration effort. Crews are doing more than repairing storm damage from Friday night, they are rebuilding transmission and distribution lines, and more.

Many poles are in need of replacement in order to get a relatively small number of customers back online. So our efforts are very tedious and slow-going right now, as we continue to work to bring power back to our customers.

We are still shooting for having the outage number down to about 1,000 by the end of the day, and we are still hoping to have most customers back online by the end of tomorrow.

We urge customers who are still without power to report it online or by calling 1-800-554-6773. For the latest outage numbers and locations, please continue to view our outage map.

Above, At 27th & Schneekloth Rd. in Bellevue today, mutual aid crews worked to replace poles and a mile of transmission line. It’s just one example of the kind of destruction they are dealing with, marking this the fourth most damaging storm for outages since OPPD has been keeping track.

8:15 a.m.

At this time, 3,518 customers remain without power, with the largest number in hard-hit Sarpy County. Our crews hope to have that number whittled down to 1,000 or fewer by late tonight, and to fewer than 100 by late Wednesday night.

We have 443 workers in the field today – OPPD, mutual aid personnel and forestry crews. They will continue to clear debris, rebuild transmission and distribution lines and make repairs. We are extremely thankful for the help we’ve received from Loup River Public Power District, Southern Power, Nebraska Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, Ward Electric, Watt Electric, Sparks, L E Meyer and PAR Electric, as we continue on this huge restoration effort. This is the fourth largest storm on record for OPPD in terms of outages.

Please view our outage map for the latest number and location of outages. Those who are still without power and have not reported it should do so online or by calling 1-800-554-6773.

Tuesday, June 20, 6 a.m.

We still have 3,523 customers without power, related to 630 separate issues.

All remaining circuit lockouts have been at least partially restored. However, more work remains to fully restore them. The most challenging work that remains will be repairing individual customer distribution lines.

This is a slow process with the number of lines that need attention. Tornado recovery involves more than repairing, but also the rebuilding of lines. We appreciate our customers’ patience through this difficult process, and we empathize with those still dealing with loss of power. OPPD is back out in full force today.

We anticipate having all but 50 to 100 customers restored by the end of Wednesday, barring any unforseen problems. Forecasters say there is a slight risk of more severe weather Wednesday night. Even if the weather is not severe, winds could bring down already weakened or broken branches.

If you are still without power, or lose power, please report it online or call 1-800-554-6773. For the latest outage numbers and locations, view our outage map.

Outage updates from Monday, Sunday and Saturday

Jodi Baker

About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker writes stories and shoots videos for The Wire. Jodi was a television news reporter before she came to work for OPPD as a media specialist in 2013. She's married with two children (a boy and a girl), who keep her and her husband, Dave, hopping. Busy and blessed.

Paula Lukowski

About Paula Lukowski

Paula Lukowski has more than 35 years of experience in corporate communications, 30 of them at OPPD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *