Crews in day 9 of storm recovery

CHEYENNE COUNTY -- Wheat Belt Public Power District General Manager Lacey Gulbranson said reinstating electricity service is nearing completion.

"We are down to 35 residential accounts that still remain without power. So, if you are one of them, I'm sure this nine days has been entirely too long. But, we are thrilled to say we're down to 35," Gulbranson said this morning.

The task has taken more than a week and the help of several mutual aid crews. Gulbranson said crews are tired, but in good spirits. She also stressed that while residential connections are almost completed, complete restoration is far from done.

"So, after we've been to the remote sections of our power lines, we are at 1100 poles that hit the ground. Once we get our residential customers on, I think we'll still have about 400 poles to replace. So, it's going to be a long time," she said.

As residential customers' power is restored, irrigation will be the next priority, Gulbranson said this morning. 

 "So that's what we'll be working on here in the next day or so is really just kind of putting our plan together on shifting our focus. As you know, farmers are out there. Irrigation will be the next priority.  We're going to need to get electricity, so we can get crops watered. So, that'll be next," she said.
She encourages residents to be aware of possible downed power lines in the rural areas.