Omaha Public Power District, with the help of mutual aid crews, exceeded Tuesday night’s goal of 92% power restoration and is on-track to meet its goal tonight of achieving 96.3% restoration by 11:59 p.m. As of 8 p.m., approximately 7,100 of customers remain without power.
At its peak, the storm knocked out power to 188,000 customers early Saturday morning. Since that time, approximately 5,200 additional customers have lost power due to trees, branches, and other infrastructure that had been previously weakened by those hurricane-force winds, finally falling down into power lines and other equipment.
The utility hopes to achieve 98.9% restoration by 11:59 p.m. Thursday and 99.5% restoration by 11:59 p.m. Friday. The final customers have more complicated repairs where they need to hire a credible, licensed and bonded electrician to complete work on their end before OPPD can complete its work.
Complex work remains
We have great support from our line techs, tree crews, downed wire and damage assessment teams, as well as mutual aid from outside utilities electrical companies who are helping to bring the power back for all of our customers. OPPD now has a record number of “boots on the ground.” We have more than 900 workers in the field now, including employees and mutual aid crews, working to bring our customers back online.
Much of the remaining work involves lengthy tree-clearing and repair work needed to restore a small number of customers at a time. This makes the work time-consuming, and it’s why we are so grateful to have our mutual aid partners helping the gargantuan effort.
Helping our crews work safely, efficiently
It can be tempting to talk with our workers as they are out in neighborhoods, working to restore power. We ask that customers refrain from approaching our crews so they can safely focus on the dangerous work they are doing. Even well-meaning honks of a car horn or cheers from passersby can cause hazards for our team as they work to maintain focus. And please know, if you see them sitting in trucks, they are likely waiting on electrical testing or other crews or they are simply taking a much needed break to hydrate, eat, or rest during shifts that can last up to 12 hours.
In addition, we’d like to ask for our customers’ help in keeping our workers safe from backyard pets. Animals, even the most tame, can become agitated when strangers are on their home turf, potentially using noisy equipment. If you anticipate letting your pets outside while our crews are conducting work, we would appreciate it if you could keep them on a leash so that we don’t risk our crews being bitten or scratched.
Customer safety & outage reporting
We know the challenges of being without power for so long is taxing on our customers – physically and mentally. We want to encourage our customers to reach out for help. Our Customer Care team can help connect customers with community resources. They can be reached at 402-536-4131. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.
We also want to remind our customers that it is critical to stay at least 20-feet away from downed power lines. Always assume they are live, high-voltage and extremely dangerous. You can report downed lines to OPPD and report power outages, if you have not done so already, by calling 1-800-554-OPPD (6773). You can also report power outages online at OPPD.com.
Update your contact information
Also, please be sure OPPD has your current contact information in the event we need to reach you about the status of your power outage. You can do so by visiting OPPD.com/KeepCurrent.
Please visit www.stormandoutage.com for the latest outage numbers, restoration progress updates and safety guidance. And keep in mind, these numbers may fluctuate based upon the potential for new outages that are unrelated to this past weekend’s weather.