Lineman Work to Restore Power - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Lineman Work to Restore Power


More than a week after a major snowstorm...

Hundreds of residents in rural North Dakota are still without power...

A heavy snow storm last Friday has left behind miles of downed power lines in parts of North Dakota.

Although utility crews have been hot on the trail-- working to fix the problem--The weather continues to slow the recovery.

Stephanie Scheurer takes us to New Leipzig, where lineman are still braving the elements to restore electricity.

"It's pretty challenging through these storms. I mean, this is kind of the tougher part of the job. But when it isn't it's a lot of fun though too," says Wayde Eckroth, Apprentice Lineman.

Wayde Eckroth is an Apprentice Lineman, just one of 80 lineman of Mor-Gran-Sou working hard to restore power in Southwest North Dakota.

"The crew I'm with is pretty much just setting poles. We're going along with our skidsters just setting them and then we have a crew behind us that is stringing up wire and pulling up the wire," says Eckroth.

Since over a week ago, when the snow storm plowed its way through the state, Wayde and his crew have been replacing about 30 poles a day.

But the rain has slowed them down a bit and crews have been pulled back in because of safety issues.

"It becomes very unsafe with these trucks on some of these roads when they get really wet and greasy. Trying to move poles when the wind is blowing 60 miles an hour is almost impossible. And so the guys have been working as hard as they can, but, because of safety issues, they have to make some judgement calls," Don Franklund, Co-Manager/CEO, Mor-Gran-Sou, Slope, Roughrider, and Kem Electric.

Most of those still without power are rural consumers and workers say they've been very understanding.

"They've been really patient with us. It takes time. Conditions aren't very good,"

"And they work with us. They will let us know where the problems are, they'll let us know where damage is. And while they want the power restored as quickly as we can get it to them, they're very understanding,"

The day that power is fully restored may be clear as mud right now...but you can rest assured that these lineman will get the job done as quickly and safely as they can.

"No matter what, we'll be here tomorrow. We'll be working on it again tomorrow and we'll continue working on it until the power is restored.

As of today, Mor-Gran-Sou still has 319 consumers without power and Slope has 50.

Franklund says they hope to have power restored sometime next week.

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