Local Utility Cooperatives Lend Assistance To Storm Victims


(Le Mars) — Local utility companies are assisting with the restoration of power to residents living in central and eastern Iowa. Electric service was lost to several thousands of Iowans due to Monday’s strong storm that swept across the state with winds measuring around 100 mph and damaging power lines, poles, substations and other electrical equipment. Both North
West Rural Electrical Cooperative and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative or NIPCO, have crews in eastern Iowa. Lyle Korver is the Executive Director with North West REC. North West REC serves Sioux, O’Brien, Plymouth, and Ida Counties. He says Monday’s storm did cause some minimal damage to North
West’s service area.

After restoring power to those affected by the storm within the North West REC service area, Korver says six employees were then sent with equipment and trucks and headed to eastern Iowa.

Korver says he has heard the East Central Electrical Cooperative still has several residents without power.

Angela Catton is the Manager of Member Relations and Development with NIPCO, based here at Le Mars. She says NIPCO sent four employees to assist.

From left to right are NIPCO crew members who  left on Tuesday morning to provide mutual aid support in restoration efforts: NIPCO Crew Foreman Bill Thompson, Journeyman Lineman BJ Hetzel, Journeyman Lineman Eric Berkenpas, Journeyman Lineman (from NIPCO’s Harlan Outpost Crew) Jordan Newcomb.

Catton offers some statistics regarding the storm’s impact on another Iowa power generation and transmission utility facility.

Catton says the NIPCO crews are telling her the extent of damage is the worst they have ever witnessed.

The NIPCO official says estimates are that it could take several more days before full restoration of power is established.

(photos courtesy of NIPCO.)