Power restored to all customers affected by storms

Sunday, Dec. 19

6:30 p.m.

Power has been restored to 100% of customers affected by Wednesday’s storms.

The December storm was an extremely rare event that caused the widespread destruction across multiple Midwestern states. Extensive damage was seen throughout OPPD’s service territory, including about 150 severed power poles, many of those in the south rural areas of the territory territory.

20211218_Ceresco 69kv-8c

Saturday, Dec. 18

6:30 p.m.

Fewer than 25 customers who lost power after Wednesday’s wind and storm event remain without power.

The customers who lost power this afternoon in a non-weather related outage had their power restored about 2 p.m.

1:30 p.m.

About 170 customers who lost power due to Wednesday’s storm are still without power, down from 24,000 at the peak. More than 99% of customers affected by the storm have had their power restored, and crews continue to work as quickly and safely as possible on restoration.

About 1,300 customers have been impacted by the non-weather related outage this afternoon. Troubleshooters are responding to that outage.

North of Syracuse 2 small

12:40 p.m.

OPPD has a non-weather related power outage in Omaha right now, impacting about 1,3020 customers. It began at 12:25 p.m., impacting customers from F St. to Monroe St., between 76th Cir. and 46th St.

Our troubleshooters are on the way to investigate reports of a car hitting a pole in the area. We’ll post updates here as we learn more.

11 a.m.

OPPD crews continue working to restore power to customers still affected by the Wednesday wind and storm event. About 98% of customers have had their power restored; approximately 320 remain without power, down from a peak of 24,000 customers.

Customers still without power should have their power restored by Saturday evening, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

The remaining outage work is complex because of the extensive damage that has been seen throughout the service territory.

sunset December 17 2021 storm

Friday, Dec. 17

6:30 p.m.

OPPD crews continue progressing in their outage efforts as now more than 96% of customers have had their power restored following the Wednesday wind and storm event. There are 800 customers who do not have power, down from a peak of 24,000 customers.

The remaining portion of customers who do not have their power restored yet tonight will have their power restored by tomorrow afternoon.

4:50 p.m.

Crews have now restored power to all but 1,800 (92%) of customers following Wednesday’s storm and wind event that caused power outages to 24,000 customers at the peak of the event.

The December storm was an extremely rare, and deadly, event that caused the destruction of buildings, power structures and widespread damage across multiple Midwestern states. Fatalities from the system were reported in Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota. Tornadoes were reported in multiple areas, including Nebraska, during the event.

There were either four confirmed tornadoes that struck the Beaver Lake area, or the same one tornado that touched down repeatedly and then kept returning into the sky, according to the National Weather Service in Valley. That tornado, or tornadoes, possibly even crossed the Missouri River.

Wind speeds of 81 mph were recorded at Offutt Air Force Base and 74 mph at Eppley Airfield.

3 p.m.

Crews continue to work to bring outage numbers down throughout the day and the number now stands at 2,400 customers.  With extra crews in the field the work focus continues to be focused on the most difficult and complex restorations.

There are 127 crews – not counting forestry crews – working throughout OPPD’s service territory to restore all those impacted by Wednesday’s unprecedented storms that struck much of the Great Plains. Several tornadoes were reported with the storm system that produced wind gusts in excess of 80 mph. At the height of the storm, 24,000 customers were without power.

7:30 a.m.

The number of customers without power after Wednesday’s storm and wind event is now 3,052 after crews worked through the night and into the morning hours. OPPD expects the vast majority of customers to be restored by the end of this evening as more crews will be joining in on the restoration effort today.

OPPD expects to have a total of 127 crews working on outage restoration along with forestry crews to tackle the remaining outages, many of which are complex, time-consuming repairs.

8 p.m.

Crews have made progress in outage restoration efforts after Wednesday’s unprecedented wind and thunderstorm that swept through the area and much of the region. The storm system left about 24,000 without power at its peak. That number is now down to just under 4,000 customers with the vast majority expected to be restored by late Friday evening.

While the remaining outage work will be complex and tedious, additional mutual aid crews will be arriving Friday to assist in those efforts. Extensive damage has been seen throughout the service territory including about 150 severed power poles, many of those in the south rural areas of OPPD’s service territory.

20211216_Wind Storm_Danko 3 copy

2:15 p.m.

Outage numbers have dropped slightly since this morning, now numbering 7,193 customers. OPPD is estimating that 90% of the peak number of outages (24,000) will be restored by 11:59 p.m. Friday.

We understand that the length of outages is not ideal. However, as we assess damage, crews are finding high numbers of broken or damaged poles, with estimates as high as 150 poles that need replaced. This work is time-consuming and complex and will take some time.

To aid in restoration, additional crews continue to arrive from our mutual aid partners. We now have 117 crews on property to assist. Most of that work will occur in the south and west portions of our service territory, where high winds damaged stretches of both transmission and distribution lines.

In addition to line crews, we will have a total of 51 tree-trimming and vegetation crews on site to assist. As a reminder, OPPD is not responsible for cleaning up tree debris on customers’ property. That is the responsibility of the property owner.

Unlike the storm in July, the majority of the most severe damage is in the more rural parts of our service territory. Please report any power outages if you have not already done so. It’s crucial that our customers report their power outages, so OPPD is aware of the location without electricity and can ensure appropriate restoration response. You can report online at OPPD.com, via the OPPD Connect app, or by calling 1-800-554-OPPD (6773).

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021

6:15 a.m.

Crews assembled before sunrise this morning to begin a full day of restoration following Wednesday’s storms and high winds. At this time, 8,395 customers remain without power. Crews and troubleshooters worked late into the night to bring nearly 6,000 customers back online before dawn. At its peak, the storm resulted in approximately 24,000 outages.

Now, more intensive and complicated work begins. Starting today, approximately 130 crews will be in the area making repairs to broken poles and other structures and restoring the remaining outages. OPPD leaders worked with their mutual aid partners to secure additional, outside help to come to the service territory today, including additional tree-trimming crews.

20211215_Wind Storm_1

OPPD crew members review a work order on their laptop late last night during restoration work.

As light comes, crews will be better able to assess damage from the storm, which packed winds gusting into the 80’s. Early reports overnight indicate some damage to both transmission and distribution lines, including toppled and broken poles. Some lines saw multiple structures down.

Unlike the storm in July, outages are widespread and touch nearly every area of OPPD’s 13-county service territory.  Please report any power outages if you have not already done so. It’s crucial that our customers report their power outages, so OPPD is aware of the location without electricity and can ensure appropriate restoration response. You can report online at OPPD.com, via the OPPD Connect app, or by calling 1-800-554-OPPD (6773).

About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He formerly worked as a staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.