How Power is Restored During a Major Storm

How Power is Restored During a Major Storm

Restoring power after a major storm is a big job that involves much more than simply throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line. Our top priority is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible. The major cause of outages is damage caused by fallen trees. That's why we have an ongoing right-of-way maintenance program and count on your support when tree trimming crews are in the area.

In the event of lightning, precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of our electric crews. Crews must wait until lightning storms are an acceptable distance away before restoring power.

The following steps show the order that crews take to restore your power.

Step 1. The City of Stillwater has 2 transmission towers and lines supply power to one or more transmission substations. Thousands of people could be served by one high-voltage transmission line, so these lines get attention first.

Step 2. The City of Stillwater has 6 distribution substations, each serving hundreds or thousands of customers. When a major outage occurs, these distribution substations are checked first by local personnel. A problem here could be caused by a failure in the transmission system supplying the substation. If the problem can be corrected at the substation level, power may be restored to a large number of people.

Step 3. Main distribution supply lines are checked next if the problem cannot be isolated at the substation. These supply lines carry electricity away from the substation to a group of consumers, such as an individual community or housing development. When power is restored at this stage, all consumers served by this supply line could see the lights come on, as long as there is no problem further down the line.

Step 4. The final supply lines, called tap lines, carry power to the utility poles or underground transformers outside houses or other buildings. Line crews fix the remaining outages based on restoring service to the greatest number of members.

Step 5. Sometimes damage will occur on the service line between your house and the transformer on the nearby pole. This can explain why you have no power when your neighbor does. Crews need to know if you have an outage here so a service crew can repair it.

Step 6. Customers are responsible for damage to the service installation on the building. Call a licensed electrician to make repairs then call the cooperative so power can be restored.

Content last reviewed 11.09.2020