50 in area, 120 across state without powerAbout 50 Slope Electric customers in Bowman, Slope, Adams and Hettinger counties are still without power after a blizzard wreaked havoc on power lines and poles late last month. The storm left thousands of North Dakotans without electricity.
About 50 Slope Electric customers in Bowman, Slope, Adams and Hettinger counties are still without power after a blizzard wreaked havoc on power lines and poles late last month. The storm left thousands of North Dakotans without electricity.
“The goal is to have it done by Friday evening, but we’re pretty sure we’re still going to have a few individuals left out there,” said Travis Kupper, chief financial officer for Slope Electric. “They may be at the end of a long line that is primarily there to serve them and just with the amount of damage on it, it’s still going to take us some time.”
Kupper expects all customers to regain power by early next week.
“At the peak, we were looking at about 1,500 out of power at one time,” Kupper said. “We’ve had a lot of busy employees and contractors out there and they’ve been working some pretty extraordinary hours in order to get this taken care of as quick as possible.”
Kupper estimated damages have exceeded $3 million.
“We’re still compiling numbers and putting them together and we expect that number to increase as we’re able to pin down more information,” he said.
Thousands of Roughrider Electric Cooperative Inc. customers in the area also lost power due to the blizzard. The last Roughrider customers in Stark, Billings and Dunn counties had power restored Monday, said Leonard Hibl, director of member services.
“We’re still going to be repairing damages for several days yet,” Hibl said. “Right now we’re in the process of restoring power to the last commercial accounts — oil wells out in the oil field.”
There were 424 poles destroyed, affecting 340 miles of line, Hibl said.
An estimated 120 households statewide are without power and about 250 are still in the dark in South Dakota, according to the Associated Press. At the peak of the outages, more than 20,000 people in the two states were reportedly without electricity.
North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven reportedly said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to begin damage assessments in the state.
Both North and South Dakota are seeking presidential disaster declarations to clear the way for federal aid, according to the AP.
Slope Electric customers who are still without power can call 1-800-559-4191 or 701-579-4191.