Total outage counts continue to decrease, with a few unplanned, reconstruction-related outages taking priority and slowing down the restoration process. Going into the weekend, the remaining outages are isolated water well taps and remote oil locations. These services will be restored as soon as we can. Oftentimes, due to terrain, distance from roadways, and extensive construction required, these outages are prolonged. Thank you and have a great weekend!
As restoration in our more remote areas continues, we are looking at around 35 remaining outages left to restore. Many of these are water wells and oil locations that are tough to reach or require extensive rebuilding to restore these services. Crews are largely back to normal operating hours as of this morning, with contractors aiding in portions of our rebuild areas. By the end of the week, we are hoping to knock out these remaining outages and bring our system to full health once again. Thank you to all our members for your continued support and patience.
Our outage numbers continue to fluctuate as restoration construction continues. As we work through our system, we may find more damaged poles than initially surveyed. While some of these poles are still standing, partially damaged poles are dangerous and will require a change-out to avoid causing an outage later down the line. Keep in mind, these outage numbers are generally in areas that have seen the most damage, meaning they will take longer to restore. Using the map below, you will see where our larger restoration efforts are focused. Our crews will make sure every meter in our system is restored as soon as they can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
McKenzie Electric line crews worked through the weekend to drop our outage count to around 60. Most of these outages will require extensive rebuilds as these were our areas where significant damage was seen. Crews and contractors are rebuilding these areas as quickly as possible with the hopes most of the remaining outages are restored by the end of the week. Thank you for your continued patience.
6:30 UPDATE | Crews and contractors will continue to work through the weekend restoring the remaining outages and rebuilding our more damaged sections. If you are a residential member without power, please give us a call and we will send a crew to restore your service as soon as they can. In some places, more complex rebuilds will be required prolonging restoration timelines. Going into the weekend, we are looking at around 150 services remaining without power, with hopes that most of these will be cleared up by Monday. We thank you again for your patience, well wishes, and understanding through this past week! Our crews and staff appreciate every one of you!
12:30 UPDATE | At this time, we believe we have the majority of our residential services online and with good power. If you are a residential member WITHOUT power, please give us a call at 701-444-9288. During construction, hardware may have shifted, and you may have lost power again. We will get your outage added and send a crew to your location as soon as we can. We also have more numbers to share regarding the scope of damages our system received. On the evening of 4/23, our system flagged 11,000 meters as out. That is 80% of our total meter count that was without power. We also saw our system load drop to under 50MW from around 700MW. Which is a substantial drop to say the least. Crews and contractors are still out restoring and working through our major rebuilds. They will continue to do so until we have every meter energized!
8:30AM UPDATE | After our update last night, our line crews continued to restore members which brings our outage count to below 200 as seen in the provided map. The good news is we continue to make progress and rebuilds are going smoothly. Unfortunately, some of our remaining outages are major rebuilds that may take some time. We are actively working on back feeds to these locations, where possible, to restore power from another route while we work on restoring these spans of line. The highlighted sections in the map are where our efforts will be focused today and through the weekend. Again, this does not mean crews won’t be spread throughout the area checking fuses and restoring some of our less complex outages. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!
9PM FINAL VIDEO UPDATE | Surveying is nearly complete, and we have more information on the impact this storm had. Over 80% of our system experienced some form of outage since Saturday. This equated to around 90% of our entire load dropping down to as little as 50MW on 4/23. Over 200 poles have been lost throughout our area, with more being added daily as we are able to reach our more remote locations. Because of this, our system will be rebuilt throughout the coming weeks. Approximately 200 locations remain without power out of roughly 14,000 meters. Rebuild focus remains to be in the northwest and southwest portions of our service territory where the storm hit hardest. These are our last remaining distribution feeders that in some places have seen 20-30 poles damaged. Remember, please stay clear of downed lines. Don’t drive over them. Don’t try to move them. Call us and we will send a crew as fast as we can to clear your roadway and move the line safely.
Thank you to everyone who has helped our crews. Whether that be pulling us out of the mud, giving us a ride to a remote location to restore service, the well wishes and kind words, and the flood of support. We can’t thank you enough. We couldn’t ask for more than a member base as patient and understanding as you.
2PM UPDATE | We are continuing to make solid progress in the northwest (Cartwright and Alexander area) restoring good size sections of our residential meters. Crews have reported the line that had fallen in the river to the southwest has been raised and we should be powering up close to 50 services throughout that area. If you don’t see crews nearby, it doesn’t mean they aren’t working on your service. Many times, an issue further up the line could be what is causing your outage. We also have smaller concentrations of crews and contractors throughout the entirety of our system restoring individual meters where they can. As soon as a rebuild is completed in a highlighted zone, they will move on and assist a nearby rebuild and keep moving to our hazard zones. Oftentimes, as crews refuel (both their vehicles and bodies), they will reach as many places as they can to restore outages on their way.
10AM UPDATE | Good morning, crews have been out since sunrise this morning rebuilding in the same general areas mentioned yesterday (northwest, and southwest). Remember, when restoring outages of this nature, we work to bring the most amount of meters on in one swoop. We aren't forgetting about you, but it may be later in the day before we get to your location. We are receiving some assistance from Roughrider Electric Cooperative who will have a crew throwing fuses to get the less complex outages restored. We can't thank you enough for your patience. We understand how frustrating it is to be without power for this long. We're doing everything we can to get our members restored!
10PM UPDATE | A quick end of day update. Outage numbers are now sitting below the 500-mark spread throughout our service territory, with major outage sections restored significantly. Key update points:
- Crews remain to be heavily concentrated in the Alexander and Cartwright areas. This is where the largest number of residential meters are without power.
- Skaar/Squaw Gap/Southwest – We have a line down in the river we are looking to stand up. This will restore around 50 meters throughout this zone.
- Keeping an eye on the weather. The added moisture will make getting around in the mud that much harder.
- MOST residential meters will be restored in the next day or two, short of the major rebuilds.
The map below is a quick snapshot of where our efforts have been focused today and our general direction going forward. This does not mean crews will ONLY be in these areas. They are still spread throughout restoring outages where they can. Thank you for your continued patience and well wishes as we restore your power!
6PM UPDATE | Crews remain heavily focused in the northwestern portion of our service territory and will continue to work through the evening. We’ve restored many meters in this area, but progress is slow due to mud and impassable sections of road that is making it tough to get to our structures. We will provide an additional update later this evening.
2:30PM UPDATE | Line crews and contractors remain heavily focused in the northwestern portion of our service territory concentrated north of Cartwright. While they are restoring damaged equipment and poles, they are also swapping fuses and getting power to as many members as possible. Crews are also working in the northeast area around Keene and Charlson and in the southwest around Squaw Gap. Areas unshaded and shaded in green are believed have MOST of our residential members restored. If you fall within one of these zones, please give us a call at 701-444-9288 and we will update your outage notes. You may be without power for a variety of reasons. At this point, it may be due to a more involved rebuild that is affecting your meter. Crews and contractors are working to rebuild these damages structures as quickly as we can.
12PM UPDATE | Crews are still in the northwestern area around Indian Hill working on distribution feeder rebuilds. From there they will be working across to the east around the Stone Johnnie substation in between Banks and Indian Hill. Engineers are spread throughout our damage zones listed in the map below to complete storm damage surveys. This helps us create a priority list of rebuilds to get our residential members energized. Line crews and contractors are also in the southwest and Clark’s Creek area working on restoring poles and lines. As conditions allow, we are restoring as many meters as possible. We appreciate your help when you notice a line has fallen again or is arcing. Thank you for your continued patience!
9:30AM MAP UPDATE | Good morning, progress is continuing to be made throughout our service area. Line crews will be heavily focused in our northwestern area (shaded in yellow) where we still have around 360 services without power. We will also be in the southwest, around the Skaar and Bicentennial areas, where we have made progress over the past few days. Damage surveys are close to complete in the area, at which time we will have a better understanding of how long restoration will take. Regarding our northeastern services, around the Elm Tree substation, we are working on a floating (disconnected from its insulator) transmission line that is affecting nearby services that are still without power. Areas unshaded and shaded in green are believed to be MOSTLY restored, but we still have locations that are without power. This may be a simple fuse or a where a larger rebuild is required. We have multiple fuse crews out today to restore some of our individual meters down the line. This will be done throughout our service area. Thank you for your continued patience and support while we work to restore our system.
Although we are working on restoring ALL meters, due to the low temperatures and health risks, our restoration efforts are focused on our residential members.
10PM UPDATE | Our system is close to 75% restored. Most of our outages are within the western half (still portions in the eastern side of territory without power) with some of our biggest outages remaining to be around the HWY200 – HWY 85 areas. We hope to have most residential meters up by mid-late Thursday, although some areas will take longer to restore due to major rebuilds. Surveying and estimates have us sitting at close to 100-200 poles down throughout the system due to damage. This means that lines may be laying on the ground nearby. Please stay clear of downed lines and ALWAYS treat distribution lines as energized. Thank you again for your patience as we work through the damaging aftermath of this storm. Office staff, line crews, and contractors have all been working around the clock to tackle this major restoration.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RE-FUSE | Fuses on our lines act as a form of protection when we experience outages. Not only do fuses protect cooperative hardware, but also members' meters down the line. If you see a fuse hanging as mentioned in the video DO NOT attempt to re-fuse yourself. There are 14 thousand volts running through our distribution lines. Needless to say, re-fusing is very dangerous and deadly. Please leave this job to the lineworkers who are trained for this and are out in the field. We understand that you'd like to help in this restoration process, the most we ask of you is to remain patient and trust that we are doing everything we can to restore your service.
4PM UPDATE | We are pulling in a couple of our crews to get some rest. They have been out since 12AM this morning and have worked straight through the day without much of a break. We need to keep our crews safe and healthy as best we can. CREWS THAT ARE OUT are located around the north Alexander area, Skaar, and Roughrider areas (west and south). As crews come in for fuel, rest and equipment/hardware, they will be hitting known outage areas around Watford City.
2PM UPDATE | MEC crews are localized in the western area of our service territory. Contractor crews are located throughout rebuilding sections of lines to restore the most amount of meters possible.
NEIGHBORS HAVE POWER, BUT YOU DON'T | Our system is like a giant circuit breaker similar to your home, where one room has power and another may not. Or in our case, one meter has power but down the line and another does not.
The reason your neighbor may have power is because there is no fault on their line. There may be damage to your line that you cannot see.
We promise that we are working as quickly and safely as possible to get your power restored.
Keep in mind, we work to get as many meters energized as quickly as possible as summarized in this video:
12PM UPDATE | Crews are spread throughout our territory. Localized efforts are in zones south of the park around the long x bridge area and in the southwest of our territory. MEC crews are also in the Sather dam and redwing areas working on major damaged lines and poles. We are trying as quickly as we can to get poles and wires up. Crews are also in our northwestern area around our elm tree substation location. Our goal for today is to move north and west to restore as much as we can around Cartwright, Horsecreek, and the general area northwest of Alexander. We work to get as many meters on and energized, then we move down the line to individual meters. Thank you for your ongoing patience!
11AM UPDATE | Crews and contractors are still out in force restoring outages where they can, short of major rebuilds. We had a few line crews who spent the night in their bucket trucks who will be getting some rest shortly, but we still have contractors working on rebuilds and restoring blown fuses. Basin Electric is now restoring transmission lines and poles throughout the area they feed. Outage counts are fluctuating due to some restorations not holding and remaining healthy. We are seeing outage fluctuations between 85-100. While we isolate outages, please call us if you are still without power but your neighbors DO have power. Some sections are fed through different spans of line which is why your neighbor down the road might have power, but you don't. While we restore our system we work to restore the largest amount of meters FIRST and then work down the line to restore individual meters. Please continue outages as your experience interruptions in power. This helps us isolate the outage you are a part of. Thank you for your continued support and patience!
9:45PM UPDATE | Crews are continuing to restore outages on their way back to the shop tonight. They’ve been at it at since daybreak and will be right back out tomorrow morning. Here is what we know:
• Ending the day with 83 open outages with a total of 500 meters. This is around 5% of our total meter count.
• Remember to stay clear of downed power lines, we have hanging lines and broken poles in much of our area.
• Restoration timeline – we hope to have most meters energized by end of day Thursday 4/28 short of the more complicated rebuilds.
Thank you again for your patience as we work through the damaging aftermath of this storm. Please know we are doing everything we possibly can to restore power system-wide!
6PM UPDATE | We are working to restore power feeds in the northern portion of our system that feed across to the western edge of our territory and south of Watford City. We are down from roughly 256 isolated outages (groups of meters without power) to 152 and making steady progress. ALL distribution substations are energized and we are currently working down the line to restore the largest amount of meters possible. We will be keeping crews and contractors in the field until dark to restore as many people as we can.
4PM CEO UPDATE | We are making good progress! All substations are energized and crews and contractors are working tirelessly to bring our main distribution feeders (high meter density zones) back online. Thank you for your ongoing patience!
2:30PM UPDATE | Crews and contractors are restoring lines and connections as they can. While they are in the field, crews work to isolate the outage cause, which could be a blown fuse or floater (the line came off its insulator or connection). Due to the nature of this storm, we are seeing varying degrees of damage that can be tough to diagnose quickly. Thank you for your ongoing patience!
9AM UPDATE | Line crews and contractors are out in force to restore remaining outages where they can. Key points of focus will be in our north/northwest area, stretching from county road 31 to Charlson and south. This is where we have multiple poles down including lines, broken cross arms, and damaged hardware. This restoration area includes subdivisions around highway 85 north of Alexander as this is one of our primary feed zones headed west. Crews will also be circling through outages south of 85 that have been restored already but haven’t held. As crews head to these restoration locations, they will be checking fuses and breakers to restore members on their route. Basin Electric will have a helicopter in the air surveying damage in our further south area where the transmission line is currently blocking the roadway. If your area isn’t on this list and you are still without power, we will get to you as soon as we can. Main distribution feeders are our primary point of attack. Once they are restored, we will work down the line to bring individual meters online. IF YOU HAVE PARTIAL POWER, please report your outage through SmartHub or by calling us. Keep in mind, we are receiving a high volume of calls this morning and you may receive a busy signal. Thank you again to our members for your patience and a huge thank you to the McKenzie County Road department for plowing lanes for our crews. We appreciate you all!
8:30PM UPDATE | We have some great news, all but 1 of our distribution substations are online which means our transmission is CLOSE to fully operational. We have also made progress on the main distribution feeders (larger meter density zones). Once the main feeders are restored, we will work through the individual meters down the line. Line crews will be pulled off the roads at dark to get some much-needed rest and prepare for the battle in the morning. It's a wet muddy mess out there, but they appreciate your kind words and patience as we work to restore our entire system. As soon as the sun rises we will be back at it again with the assistance of contractors to help this restoration go as quickly as possible. We thank you again for your understanding and patience, please stay safe!
7PM UPDATE | Line crews are still in the field, but restoration is slow due to mud and heavy snow making certain areas impassable. If you are currently without power, be prepared to be out the rest of the night. Rest assured, our crews will continue to work and we have multiple contractors en route to assist in restoration efforts. Weather and environment cooperating, we should see services come online early in the day tomorrow. Retain indoor heat as long as possible, and shelter in small areas within your house. Do not open exterior doors unless absolutely necessary, and keep all blinds and curtains closed to preserve heat through the night. Shield windows with additional coverings, like tacking a lightweight blanket to block cold air.
3:30PM UPDATE | Thank you to every one of our members for your ongoing patience and understanding during this storm event. Restoration efforts continue across our service area and we're gaining ground in restoring those outages. A special thanks to county plow operators, ems services, and contractors as they help get our line crews to outages and respond to calls.
REMINDER you may still experience "blinks." These blinks are a result of snow and ice melting on the lines and breaking free, or the line may have momentarily come in contact with fallen trees, etc. Please report a power outage if you experience a prolonged power interruption.
11AM UPDATE | An update from McKenzie Electric CEO, Matt Hanson on restoration efforts.
8:30AM UPDATE | Thankfully, the snow has stopped for now. Crews have been on the road as soon as it was safe to do so and are working tirelessly to get to major problem areas. Once on scene, they will survey the damage and pursue the best course of action. Power restoration during winter storms can be a timely process. Understand that we are doing everything we can to restore your power.
For a behind the scenes look into power restoration, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByW1ngJg6vM
8:30PM UPDATE | McKenzie Electric will be pulling crews for the remainder of the night due to impassable roads and unsafe driving conditions. We will begin restoration as soon as we can tomorrow morning. Please preserve heat where possible and wear extra layers if you are without power. Continue to report outages by calling 800-584-9239 or reporting through the SmartHub app. You may encounter longer than normal wait times due to the influx of calls. Please bear with us as we add you to the outage list. Stay safe and know we will restore power as soon as we can!
6:30PM UPDATE | Outage numbers are continuing to increase and are affecting a large portion of our system. Crews are continuing to work as quickly and safely as possible where conditions allow. Due to the nature of this storm, members may experience prolonged outage restoration times. Please understand we are working to restore your power as soon as we can!
McKenzie Electric and our 24/7 dispatch are experiencing high call volume and you may encounter a busy tone if you call in. Please report outages through your SmartHub app and line crews will be dispatched to restore your service. Download the app through your app store, or register through this link https://bit.ly/SmartHubNewUser
If you already have SmartHub, login here: https://mckenzieelectric.smarthub.coop/Login.html
Thank you for your patience and stay safe!