UPDATE: 9/4/14 at 8:45 p.m.
Progress is being made up in the Northwoods. Kelly Zagzebski with Wisconsin Public Service says there are 119 crews working to get the power turned on. WPS is also getting help from other power companies as well as independent contractors. These crews will be working 16 hours days to continue the restoration process.
It still looks like the power wont be back up until some time on Friday and it could be Saturday before everything is fully restored. Zagzebski reminds everyone to please be safe out there - stay away from downed power lines and use caution if crews are working in your neighborhood.
WPS crews say the majority of the damage appears to be pole fires, broken poles, up rooted trees, trees down, and branches on lines.
Zagzebski says WPS appreciate everyone's patience.
Safety Tips from WPS:
•Don't try to cut or remove down trees or branches unless you are absolutely certain power lines are not involved. A licensed tree removal company may be a better option.
•Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food items. Test storm equipment regularly.
•Have a licensed electrician disconnect your generator unless the generator has an automatic disconnection device.
•If the storm leads to an outage, please be patient while we work to restore your power.
•Understand who is responsible for making repairs before power can be turned back on.
Down Power Lines
•Stay away from down or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near them (i.e., trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders).
•Consider all down power lines and anything touching them energized and DANGEROUS! Stay away from them and report the problem to WPS.
•Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen (backyards, fields, school yards, etc.).
•If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car and call 911. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire, or other immediate danger, jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
Gusty winds, heavy rain and even some hail left behind a mess all across northern Wisconsin. Some of the hardest hit areas include Price, Oneida, and Vilas counties.
“I haven't seen a storm like this in 10 years,” said Ken Krall News Director at WXPR radio regarding Thursday's severe storms as they moved through Rhinelander.
“The rain was incredible. All of a sudden someone came in and said, 'Hey, there's a tree on someone's car'. Turns out that car was Ken's. And he's not the only one that will need to file an insurance claim.
“We heard a loud clap of thunder and then the power went out,” explained Edward Cholewinski. Thursday, a 100-year-old pine tree was tore apart crashing through the ceiling of his Rhinelander home. He says the damage cause water to come through his home ceiling tiles.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, nearly 8,000 WPS customers were without power in Rhinelander. Wisconsin Public Services say it could be sometime Friday before power is restored to everyone.
Click here to view current WPS outages.
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