As I write this newsletter the rains continue in parts of our service territory. The moisture we received this year has also brought many challenges to Midwest and our employees. The storm challenges started April 13th with a snow/ice storm that went through our area and continued north and east of us affecting many of our neighbors. This storm was declared a FEMA disaster by the President in July.
Since that time we’ve sent crews to help neighbors rebuild from the ice storms near Ord and sent crews to Bridgeport in May to assist Wheatbelt Public Power District when a tornado devastated that area. Nearly every weekend since May, storms have created work and challenges for our service area. To date I know of damages in our area from 3 tornadoes and several micro bursts that took out many poles, and numerous lightning strikes that have destroyed poles, blew the tops off of transformers and a lightning strike that hit our office radio tower in Grant on June 6th that heavily damaged our radio system, phones, copiers and printers, about half of our computers in the office, our SCADA system, damaged some switches on our Load Management system that we use for irrigation and created issues with our billing. We’ve attached a couple of pictures on the following pages.
As of today, most systems are operational, but we are still waiting for replacements for certain items. The disruptions did not allow our irrigators to use the load management software as they were accustomed to which is now in place and for the most part working properly. Our meter reading system we use to read the meters was not working properly so the power bills for July were late getting to you. My hope is that all goes well for next month’s billing, but when lightning strikes electronic equipment, all bets are off.
I am confident of one thing, the employees at Midwest have the right attitude. Through all of these challenges in the last several months, the employees have worked tirelessly to keep the lights on and provide you with great service. I also would like to commend you, our owners, for the patience and positive feedback from your experiences during these trying times.
*Midwest Electric is an equal opportunity provider and employer.*