Power pole breaks to blame for long outages

A high instance of power pole breakage could be to blame for the slow recovery for Michiana’s thousands of residents without electricity. More than 200 of those distribution poles were the victims of Sunday’s storms.

“After the storm hit on Sunday it was all hands on deck,” said Erica Putt, communications representative for Indiana Michigan Power. “We have all the employees from I&M working throughout our entire service territory. We were also able to bring in some contractors and some help from AEP sister utility companies.”

Those contractors include help from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and even Florida bringing the crew totals to approximately 1600.

The high instance of pole breaks is making it very difficult to restore power, but the crews are working along.

“Cross arms are no big deal, but if it's poles that takes a lot longer to do,” said Keith Tullett, a contractor from Davis H. Elliot. “It could take a few minutes to a few hours, if it's several poles it could take days. It depends how much damage there is.”

I&M has distributed a full list of estimated recovery times, which can also be found on our website. Putt emphasized that those times are approximate.

“As we begin restoring power we will have more specific times for some of those smaller towns so people will have a better idea of when their power will be back on,” she said. “So of course some customers will come on before those deadlines, but we're expecting everyone to be restored by those restoration times.”

Until then, it’s important to be safe.

“Our company does work directly with the Red Cross to make sure areas are set up and we assist as needed,” she said. “So if you have an elderly neighbor or a neighbor with small children, please just keep an eye on each other. This is a time for our community to come together and really help each other.”

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