RAPID CITY, SD — Oct. 12, 2021 —The recent fall-like weather has been nice, but today’s heavy snowstorm will continue through tomorrow with the potential for scattered electric outages related to the winter weather. Black Hills Energy appreciates customers’ understanding as they work to quickly and safely restore power.
It’s important to not lose sight of important safety measures during severe snowstorm conditions. Black Hills Energy reminds customers to stay safe during hazardous weather conditions and offers tips to prepare customers if there are weather-related service interruptions.
Although a key component of the company’s preparedness includes constant monitoring of weather forecasts, much of the company’s ability to respond quickly is the result of actions Black Hills Energy takes before extreme storm-like conditions actually hit, including:
- Developing staffing plans to provide 24-hour outage response.
- Coordinating efforts with city, county and state emergency officials and first responders.
- Providing ongoing service restoration updates to customers through various communication mediums.
“Being prepared and ready to provide safe, reliable service is our priority. We regularly inspect and maintain our system to ensure reliability and safety,” said Marc Eyre, vice president of electric operations for South Dakota and northeast Wyoming. “Our dedicated crews are scheduled 24/7 during storm conditions for any electric emergency that requires immediate attention.”
During extended outage situations caused by severe weather conditions, Black Hills Energy works with local news agencies and posts updates on social media and on their website to help keep customers informed about service restoration efforts. If an electrical service interruption does occur, the company will make every effort to safely restore power as quickly as possible.
In the event that an unexpected outage occurs, please follow these guidelines for staying safe:
- Never touch or attempt to pick up a fallen power line and keep children and pets away. Assume any downed power line is energized.
- Do not attempt to rescue someone in contact with a power line. If you see a downed power line, call 911 immediately and then contact Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554.
- Prepare for an outage by setting up an emergency drawer or kit that’s easy to access, even in the dark. Stock it with fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio and a flashlight and be sure everyone in the household knows where the emergency drawer or kit is located. Avoid using candles, lanterns or oil lamps because of the fire risk.
- If any member of your family is on life support, plan for arrangements today to get them to a location where their needs can be met if electric service is interrupted. In addition, please contact Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554 to make sure they’re aware that a life-support system exists at your home.
- Unplug sensitive computer and electronic equipment or protect them with a high-quality surge protector.
- If your power goes out, see if your neighbors have power. If they do, check your home for blown fuses or a tripped circuit breaker.
- If your neighbors don't have power or if you can't locate the problem, contact Black Hills Energy by reporting the outage at www.blackhillsenergy.com/outages and clicking the REPORT OUTAGE button. You can also report the outage by calling 888-890-5554.
- Leave a lamp or electric radio on so you know when service is restored.
- Also turn on a porch light. This will help speed up the power restoration process, as technicians will be able to quickly confirm that your power is back on without knocking on your door or checking the meter.
- Do not open your refrigerator or freezer more than necessary. Undisturbed food will remain frozen in most freezers for 12 to 48 hours.
- Do not use charcoal grills to heat your home or cook indoors. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause injury or death.
- If you use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer's safety and operating guidelines. Do not connect a generator directly to your home circuits without an approved power disconnect switch to prevent back feeding power to the electric grid. Be sure to operate the generator in a well-ventilated area. Never operate it indoors or in your garage. Again, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause injury or death.
- Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless, have a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries installed to warn you of potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Stay connected with Black Hills Energy on outage information by logging on to www.blackhillsenergy.com or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Customers can also select their notification preferences by logging in to their online account and to ensure you’re receiving communication about power outage and restoration information during storm conditions.