19 Bucket Trucks Headed South on Interstate 35
After the major storm Wednesday and Thursday there were a lot of people without electricity. Especially hard hit by the snow, ice and wind were Freeborn, Dodge, Waseca and Steele Counties. My farm by Matawan southwest of New Richland lost power Thursday morning about 8:00 a.m. Power was restored Friday afternoon about 4:00 pm.
Friday morning I drove down to Albert Lea to sign our tax forms so the accountant at CLA could e-file our taxes. Driving back to Faribault I counted 19 bucket trucks headed south on Interstate 35. Some of them were also pulling trailers for hauling high-line poles. Some of the bucket trucks were Xcel Energy while others I did not recognize. I am sure they were called to help restore power as quickly as possible in the hard-hit areas.
When one power provider gets hit and their distribution system sustains a lot of damage they put out a call for help. Other power providers send bucket trucks and crews to help. I am sure they might also bring equipment they can spare like poles, transformers, line, cross braces, insulators and so on. Each power provider knows that the next time they may be the one that gets hit and need help!
My farm by Matawan is serviced by Steele Waseca Coop Electric (SWCE.) When the outage calls and emails started coming in it I am sure it did not take long to asses the extent of the damage and that SWCE needed help. It was Thursday afternoon manager Syd Briggs said they already had 10 bucket trucks and crews ready to help SWCE crews. Providers like X-Cell Energy were sending trucks and crews from other parts of their service area to help the hard-hit area.
In the picture is a broken high line pole just north of Matawan. This pole was one of 9 poles in a row that broke just after you turned off of Highway 30 and head south. The broken poles were replaced and the lines put back up. Then I am sure it was off to the next area. What about the broken poles in the ditch? No time. It is more important to get everyone's power back on. The broken poles can be picked up later.