Tuesday, June 7, 2016

More than 47,000 restored after Saturday thunderstorms

June 6, 2016 clean up in Nashota.
More than 47,000 customers have been restored since strong thunderstorms and winds passed through parts of the We Energies service area Sunday evening. The storms caused extensive tree and pole damage with many wires down, making restoration more challenging.

The National Weather Service (NWS) out of Sullivan, Wisconsin, reported that a cluster of showers and thunderstorms rolled through southern Wisconsin during the late afternoon and evening on Sunday. Some strong to severe straight-line winds were embedded with that cluster. Much of the damage reported to the NWS was large, healthy trees either blown over or snapped near their bases.

We Energies crews saw many downed trees, branches and even power poles snapped in half due to those winds. Waukesha, Appleton, Kenosha and Racine areas all saw wind gusts up to 65 miles per hour.

In the town of Genesee, nine power poles snapped in half from the sheer force of these winds.

“The snapping of the poles says something about how fast these gusts happened,” explained Meteorologist Mike Westendorf from the Innovative Weather Center at UW-Milwaukee, a partner of We Energies in storm planning. “Going from 20 mph to 60 mph in the matter of a heartbeat can just snap them in half.”

Innovative Weather partners with We Energies to create detailed, real-time weather forecasts to anticipate storms that may affect our customers' power. We use those forecasts to evaluate our manpower and take stock of our inventory in the event a storm may be imminent.

Innovative Weather trains the next generation of meteorologists while providing weather-related service to partners such as We Energies.

Damage in East Troy.
Damage near Lake Beulah.
June 6, 2016, damage. 

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