Power restoration ongoingAfter winter storms left thousands without power and electric crews work to restore services, one area electric company is inching closer to restoring full power.
After winter storms left thousands without power and electric crews work to restore services, one area electric company is inching closer to restoring full power.
Though some residents have restored power, wallets may not be restored with money spent on generators, fuel and other supplies to survive the outage.
After Gov. John Hoeven declared a winter storm disaster statewide, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin assessments of the storm’s financial impacts, according to the Associated Press.
Some area residents are spending copious amounts of money to keep generators running, with one family reporting a $130-per-day fuel bill.
If a presidential disaster declaration were approved, it would help electric cooperatives, communities and tribes recover storm-related costs, but would not provide any individual financial assistance, said Megan Floyd, external affairs specialist for FEMA.
Floyd said any available financial assistance would come from a local level.
“We have not been asked to come in and do an assessment for individual assistance at this time,” Floyd said. “If folks out there are needing help, talking to their emergency managers and contacting local voluntary agencies are the best resources.”
Roughrider Electric Cooperative Inc., reported less than a dozen people in Stark County and less than 20 people in Dunn County will be without power once crews wrapped up work Friday evening, according to a press release.
Slope Electric Cooperative Inc., serving Adams, Bowman, Hettinger and Slope counties, has power restoration efforts running full force, bringing about 150 customers back online Thursday.
Slope Electric has 1,400 replacement poles in transit with about 850 remaining down, according to a press release.
Travis Kupper, Slope Electric’s chief financial officer and spokesman, said flyovers increased Slope Electric’s initial estimates of downed power poles.
Kupper said the company had about 450 customers without power Friday morning and as of about 4:30 p.m. Friday, about 400 were without power.
Today, Slope Electric’s service area in Hettinger County will receive additional aerial survey, according to a North Dakota Department of Emergency Services press release.
With generators running many homes, some officials are concerned if safety measures are being followed.
Cecily Fong, NDDES public information officer, said her agency has received several reports of dangerously improper use of generators during the outages.
“We’re hearing stories about people running generators in their house. I mean, really dangerous stuff,” Fong said.
When used in a confined space, generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide, which is odorless, according to a press release.
NDDES recommends to never use a generator indoors.