More than 10,000 Dakota Electric Association members were out of power last weekend due to the heavy wet snow that blanketed the Twin Cities area from Friday night into Saturday.
Dakota Electric dispatched all available crews as the outages began rolling in Saturday morning. Crews worked tirelessly to restore those without power. The restoration process meant clearing trees that had collapsed and fallen on power lines due to heavy wet snow. Only after trees were removed could crews restring line and restore power. In some instances, new poles had to be set as well.
By Saturday night, less than 2,000 members were without power. Work continued through the night and into Sunday with power restored to the last members by 5 p.m. Sunday. The hardest hit areas were Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville, Inver Grove Heights and Burnsville, although outages were reported in many other cities and townships as well.
“Restoring power from a storm of this nature is a very labor-intensive job,” spokesperson Joe Miller said. “We cannot just flip a switch and restore everyone’s power. Our crews are down numerous side streets, in backyards and around the service territory, manually reconnecting wires to restore everyone’s power. Our members were very patient during this outage, and we are thankful for their understanding.”
One of the tools Dakota Electric uses to speed the restoration process is an automated call handling system. When a member calls in an outage from a phone number stored in Dakota Electric’s database, the system automatically records the location and logs the outage. This automation speeds up the call process, allowing more callers to get through and helps Dakota Electric restore outages faster. Therefore, members should be sure Dakota Electric has all current numbers associated with their account. They can call 651-463-6212 to register phone numbers with their account.
A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 100,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member/owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.