Number of downed power poles up to 900

PANHANDLE -- Wheat Belt Public Power District officials reported late April 11 that crews are making progress on restoring power. 

This morning, officials report that the poles have arrived and crews were out early working to get the poles in the ground. Crews started the day with 187 residences without power. The main focus today will be Redington, west and east of Gurley, west Dalton, Broadwater, and south of Sidney.

Wheat Belt Public Power District General Manager Lacey Gulbranson thanked the community for its support during the storm recovery.

"Again, I want to thank all of our customers for the support they have given us. The community has been fantastic in this, and I want to thank the linemen and all of the employees that have spent time away from their families, extra hours here. They go home exhausted every night, but are glad to be able to work for you all," Gulbranson said.

The progress is paced, according to the company's statement, by an increasing number of damaged power poles discovered as crews go deeper into remote areas. Three additional mutual aid crews from Loup Valley, LaCreek Electric and Southern PPD have arrived to assist recovery efforts south of Sidney. 

Power has been restored to several homes, and Wheat Belt's focus continues to be its residential customers. Now into the sixth day, crews are working 14 to 15 hours per day. The number of customers without power has reduced from 1,500 to 672.

Northwest PPD and PREMA arrived today. A total of 65 linemen will be working the area by tonight.