35,000 homes without power in southeast South Dakota
Photo Credit: Sioux Valley Energy
Crews from electric companies continue to battle the destruction in the wake of the ice storm in Sioux Falls.
Xcel Energy says is has restored power to an estimated 25,000 customers in Sioux falls and other South Dakota Communities hit hard by the severe spring storm. However, Xcel says 35,000 customers are still without any electricity.
Strong winds and freezing rain snapped trees, broke power poles and downed power lines as the storm moved into the region.
Sioux Valley energy, which serves approximately 22,000 homes, has approximately 3,000 customers still without power. Conditions continue to deteriorate in the Southeast region of Sioux Valley's coverage area. The heavy damage is primarily south of Dell Rapids to the north end of Sioux Falls and extends out east beyond Luverne, MN.
Crews are working around-the-clock to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. Xcel Energy expects the vast majority of customers will have their power restored by Thursday night.
Xcel offers these tips for those who are without electricity:
• Don't call 911 to report a power outage, as this unnecessarily ties up critical emergency phone lines. Customers experiencing an outage should contact Xcel Energy at: 1-800-895-1999.
• If you own or plan to buy an emergency standby generator, for safety reasons Xcel Energy suggests that you plug appliances into the generator or have an electrician wire the generator into your home's electrical system. Improper use of a standby generator can severely injure or kill you, your neighbors and the people who are working to restore your power.
• Use a fireplace or wood stove if available. Make sure that your chimneys and flues are clean and unobstructed, and that appliances have proper ventilation systems. When using a wood-burning fireplace, be sure the damper is open and the chimney is free from obstructions and efficiently draws smoke outside.
• Don't use natural gas ovens as a heating source. The burning of natural gas produces carbon monoxide even when the oven door is closed, and when the door is opened the carbon monoxide is released into the kitchen and can build up to dangerous levels in the home.
• Make sure kerosene and other portable heaters are vented to the outside.
• Never use charcoal indoors for either heating or cooking. Charcoal releases poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
• If you have a natural gas stove or oven without an electric ignition, you will be able to use it for cooking during an outage.
• Avoid opening a refrigerator or freezer during an outage. The less you open the doors, the longer your food will stay cold and frozen. During a prolonged winter outage, you can store food in a car trunk, or outdoors in clean, covered containers.
• If you need to cook during a winter outage, use a properly vented fireplace, a camp stove or a can of Sterno. Be sure, however, that there is adequate ventilation. Never use charcoal indoors.
• Leave one light switch turned on so you'll know when electric service has been restored.
• Turn off other appliances such as the television, refrigerator and range. If they are left on during the outage, there's a chance of electrical overload when the power is restored.
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