Xcel Energy prepares for possibility of power outages in Northwest Wisconsin
ASHLAND, WI (Northern News Now) - With a mixed bag of winter weather hitting Northwest Wisconsin Tuesday night, Xcel Energy is preparing for the possibility of more power outages.
Company spokespeople say the snow, freezing rain, and wind in the forecast could cause the lights to go out.
Just several weeks ago, a mid-December winter storm left thousands of Xcel Energy customers near Ashland without power for several days.
“We understand losing power can be a major inconvenience for customers, so we plan and prepare for weather that may cause outages. Xcel Energy crews are ready to safely restore electric service to customers as quickly as possible,” company spokespeople wrote.
Xcel shared the following ways its customers can report an outage and stay safe if their power and heat go out:
Customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump on power restoration by reporting outages. Customers have several ways to report outages.
- Through the My Xcel Energy mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and through Google Play.
- By calling 1-800-895-1999 and following the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds.
Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time when available.
If outages occur, it’s important for customers to have access to the most recent updates about their power restoration. Customers can stay informed by using the My Xcel Energy mobile app or visiting the Xcel Energy website.
The website hosts an outage map that displays information on the number of customers out and anticipated time for restoration when available. Customers can also stay informed by following Xcel Energy on Facebook and Twitter.
Other ways people can stay safe:
- Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and therefore dangerous. Never, under any circumstance, touch or move a downed power line. If you come across a downed power line, leave the area and report it immediately by calling 1-800-895-1999.
- Build a home emergency kit. Xcel Energy recommends assembling an easily accessible kit that you can rely on in the event of a power outage.
- Keep gas meters clear. Clearing snow and ice from natural gas meters is key to avoiding the potential for dangerous natural gas buildup indoors due to vents becoming sealed when covered in ice and snow melt drip on it during the day and refreeze at night. Xcel Energy strongly recommends keeping the entire meter assembly clear of snow and ice. Gently remove snow or ice from the meter, associated piping and the roofline above the meter. Check often to ensure melting snow isn’t dripping on the meter from the roof or nearby trees. Use a shovel around a meter to move snow away; avoid using your snowblower near a meter.
- Heating safety. Xcel Energy encourages homeowners to take advantage of rebates and incentives to install energy efficient furnaces and insulation. If you chose to use a space heater, take care to ensure safety as more than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year in the United States, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
Copyright 2023 Northern News Now. All rights reserved.