Electrical, water outages still causing problemsAppledoorn family members are learning to cope without electricity as they enter their second week without power.
Appledoorn family members are learning to cope without electricity as they enter their second week without power.
Winter weather across the state began snapping power lines and toppling power poles last week. Hundreds of people in southwest North Dakota were still without power Wednesday.
Franklin (Tex) and Pauline Appledoorn, along with their son Bernel and his wife Elayne, have already spent hundreds of dollars on diesel fuel using a generator for electricity at their ranch north of Gladstone.
Tex estimates it costs about $130 a day to keep the generator going.
“What else do you do?” Tex said. “You’ve got to do it to keep stuff from freezing in the house, because once your pipes freeze up it will cost you a lot more then.”
About 650 Slope Electric customers were out of power as of Wednesday morning, according to a press release. At least 600 poles were broken and numerous wires were broken.
The company brought in 100 contract employees and additional equipment to help repair the outages.
Montana-Dakota Utilities customers may have experienced electricity blinking on and off.
“We have not had any extended outages for a couple of days,” said Mark Hanson, spokesman for MDU.
“As long as a lot of these lines still have a lot of ice on them, it can cause some trouble yet,” Hanson said.
The Appledoorns are powering both of their homes with one generator and have to monitor their power usage.
“If you turn the stove on, you’ve got to wait for a long time to get anything to boil,” Bernel said. “We just turn one burner on at a time and then turn all the other lights off, so we’ve just kind of got one thing going at once.”
The Appledoorns have also turned their heat down to conserve energy. The family’s neighbors have taken showers and eaten at the Appledoorn ranch because their generator went down.
“The only way I would be in a real bind is if my generator went to heck because you can’t get anybody to even look at one, they’re so swamped,” Bernel said.
People should check their circuit breaker in case a fuse blew, according to a press release from Roughrider Electric Cooperative.
Icy temperatures are also suspected to have caused a water leak on a main Southwest Water Authority transmission line east of Dickinson. The leak was repaired and water was restored Wednesday.
“Often times as that cold gets down in the ground or when it comes back up in the spring, it causes shifting of the ground, which will shift your pipe and cause a leak,” said Mary Massad, manager and chief operating officer of Southwest Water Authority.
The leak began Monday evening and was discovered Tuesday morning, Massad said. About 135 gallons of water per minute were lost, she said.
“If water was unavailable, it should have been for a short period of time, maybe four hours at the most,” Massad said.
Power outages meant Southwest Water also had to use generators to pump water.
“We’ve had areas that were out of water,” Massad said. “All areas should have service, so if they currently do not have service, they probably have frozen water lines.”
Residents continue to flood hotels as they find their homes without heat.
The Days Hotel in Dickinson is full until Saturday, Manager Elaine Myran said.
Sixty rooms are booked for out-of-state electricians and five to 10 residents without power have booked rooms.