When is my power coming back on?
This is by far the most asked question, and we wish we had a crystal ball. There are just too many factors to consider, and each outage is different. When the co-op is dealing with a small, one location outage, our average restoration time is just over an hour. But when 5,000-plus households are out will take longer due to outage complexity, time and manpower. You might be one of the first neighborhoods restored, or the last, and to give an estimated time would not be accurate due to unexpected situations that arise during widespread outages.
Why do some outages take longer to restore?
When an after-hours storm hits, our linemen are at their homes, their kids’ ball games, out to dinner and basically enjoying evening activities like everyone else. To be prepared, our on-call crews take bucket trucks and other utility vehicles home, but once notified of an outage they still have to “suit up” and drive to the outage location, assess the situation (often patrolling miles of power line to find the cause of the outage) and, at times need to return to the co-op’s warehouse to get additional materials, such as poles and power transformers to make repairs. Sometimes the fix is as easy as resetting a fuse but sometimes it involves replacing a broken pole.
Who cleans up the fallen tree, branches or storm debris?
Storm damage clean up is the responsibility of the property owner.
Are there fewer mosquitoes up on top of the poles?
No, in fact they, along with deer flies, are terrible according to line foreman Randy Breeggemann. Despite being armed with bug spray (and sunscreen), the pests are attracted to sweat and, at the night, the safety lights the linemen wear on their helmets. “That’s why even when it’s hot, we usually have to wear long sleeves to keep them off our arms,” said Breeggemann.
How do you decide where to restore power first?
Safety is always the first priority. Crews give immediate attention to dangerous situations, such as power lines down on roadways or streets. After that, the substations and primary lines, where the greatest number of members can be restored at once receive attention. Crews then focus on smaller lines to restore power to smaller groups of members. Last, crews work on damage to individual service connections.
My home or building is still out of power, and the reports say my area has been restored. What’s up?
Your lack of power could be due to equipment that is your responsibility to maintain. MVEC maintains the system up to a connect point. For underground service, that is either a transformer, pedestal or underground connection point at a meter socket. For overhead lines, the connect point is usually the mast on your home. You will need to consult an electrician for these repairs.
What do the symbols on the outage map mean?
On MVEC’s live outage map (shown at right), the yellow hard hats mean a crew has been assigned to an outage. A color box or circle shows an area affected by a larger outage. Even though your outage location may already be represented on the map, it is still helpful to us for you to call in your outage.
What can I, as a member, do to help?
1. Falling trees and branches are the number one cause of MVEC power outages. No one likes cutting down trees, but MVEC does have right of way clearance to remove branches that interfere with power lines. If you have a tree that is close to an overhead line, contact the co-op.
2. Your correct phone numbers on file with our office helps us restore outages quicker. When you call, your location is automatically added to our system, which gives dispatchers a better idea of where problem areas exist. Update your most-used phone numbers (home or cell) by filling out this form.