Friday, July 14, 2017

Burlington power restoration continues after flood

We continue to work toward a solution that should safely restore power to customers in Burlington and surrounding areas. According to the National Weather Service, multiple rounds of heavy rainfall resulted in flash flooding Wednesday in Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties. Burlington experienced widespread flooding.

Floodwaters knocked out power from our electrical substation in Burlington. Initially, 25,000 customers lost power after our substation was knocked out. We re-routed power to get as many customers back in service as possible. We now are working to get power back to the remaining 4,000 customers who are without service.

On Thursday, we brought mobile transformers to the affected area to essentially replace the substation. Installation of these units is a complex process and changes the way power is delivered to customers. When the units are operational, we anticipate restoration to happen in stages. Our goal remains to get power back to all homes and businesses Friday afternoon.

The water has begun to recede from our substation, which takes electricity from high-voltage transmission wires to a lower voltage for customers. When flooded, the substation could not deliver electricity to the wires serving customers. The water in the substation damaged equipment that must be repaired or replaced. We are assessing the damage and working to clean up and repair the substation as quickly and safely as possible.

We continue to advise extreme caution in flooded basements. If your home is flooded, call 800-662-4797 to disconnect power and natural gas service. To be safe, always assume that basement flood water is energized. Walking through a wet or flooded basement can be dangerous. Never walk through a flooded basement until the electricity is disconnected. Even a small amount of water on a basement floor can put you at risk for electrocution. While electricity is needed to run the sump pumps and wet/dry vacuums that help remove water from a basement, the risk of electrical shock is high. Safety experts suggest using a generator to power your sump pump or wet/dry vacuum instead. Generators also come with safety concerns, so learn about generator safety before operating one, and never run extension cords through water.

Our website also has more information on outage safety.

Burlington substation flooded.
Crews are working around the clock in Burlington. 

Mobile transformer arrives in Burlington Thursday.

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