Heavy frost, high winds cause power lines to break in North Dakota
FARGO -- About 120 customers of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative are without power this afternoon due to high winds and heavy frost that have caused power lines to break and poles to snap.
Meanwhile, Cass County Electric Cooperative has 76 customers without power southwest of Valley City, N.D., due to heavy frost on its lines.
"We've got about 2 inches of frost out on the lines," said Brad Schmidt, senior vice president of transmission and distribution for Cass County Electric.
"We haven't seen the wind yet ... but we're setting pretty prime for some problems," Schmidt says.
Dakota Valley Electric areas affected are mainly in the Kulm, Forbes and Fredonia, N.D., areas, spokesowman Kathy Sysavy said.
"We've got quite a few outages" west of Highway 281 and west of Edgeley, N.D., and south of Jamestown, N.D., she said.
Many Dakota Valley Electic customers have been without power since last night, Sysavy said, while Cass County Electric customers have been out of power since about 8:40 a.m.
Rysavy estimates 10 poles have snapped as high winds have caused frost and frost-laden power lines to "gallop" and slap together. Tree branches also are breaking, hitting power lines and causing outages.
Crews are out now and could have power restored today if conditions don't worsen, Rysavy said.
But if winds pick up, she urges Dakota Valley Electric's 4,300 customers to be ready for potential outages.
"Be prepared. If you have a generator, get it out. Stock up on water, food if you need it," Rysavy said.
Dakota Valley Electric customers who have an outage, or who see downed lines or power poles, are urged to call toll free (800)-342-4671.
Cass County Electric customers can call (701) 356-4400 or (800) 248-3292.
Montana Dakota Utilities Co. has not seen any outages in its service area, a spokesman said.