Getting La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) member-owners back on line. If a major storm hit LPEA’s system, here's a simplified look at how we would prioritize repairs and restore electric service.
As members of a cooperative, we have come to expect that if we lose electric service it will be restored within a few hours at most. But when a devastating event, like a tornado, ice or snow storm causes major damage to our electric distribution system, longer outages are unavoidable.
Crews work long, hard hours restoring service, but this task needs to be done methodically to be done safely.
Electric cooperatives follow a basic principle when it comes to restoring power: priority goes to the lines that will get the most people back in service and to critical facilities. This usually begins at the substation (maintained by Tri-State Generation & Transmission) with main feeder lines that can affect 300-3,000 members. Work continues out to tap lines, which may affect 20-200 members, and then to individual service lines affecting just 1-5 members.
Please note: LPEA line crews may need to come out in the following days and weeks to make long-term repairs and rebuild sections of line that were severely damaged by the storm. This might mean you will find blinking clocks when you get home from work, or be notified of planned short-term outages to allow for repairs.
It might also mean tree-trimming crews will be in the area to make sure each right-of-way is clear of overhanging tree branches. Wind and ice storms can topple trees into power lines, which account for many of the outages in wooded areas.
When you see the orange diamond-shaped “Utility Work Ahead” or similar work signs along the road, be sure to slow down and give the line crews plenty of room to work. They might just be working on the electric distribution line that powers your home.
To learn the extent of damage from a major storm, check the Outage Viewer Map for current outage information.
If you ever have any questions about outages and repairs, or to report a power outage be sure to contact La Plata Electric Association, Inc. at (970) 247-5786.