FridayBlack Hills Electric Cooperative is experiencing storm-related outages in the Rapid City area. Line crews have been working to restore power since 1:30 a.m. today and are not making much progress. Visibility and deep snow is making it impossible to patrol lines from substations and to homes. For safety reasons, crews will be brought in at 6 p.m. tonight and will attempt to restore power beginning at 5 a.m. on Saturday. Because of zero visibility, crews don’t know the extent of the damage to the co-op’s power lines. If damage is limited to downed lines and trees in lines, restoration efforts will progress quicker than if poles need to be replaced. Persons receiving electricity from the cooperative who do not have power by 6 p.m. tonight will not have power until line crews can repair lines on Saturday or Sunday. Downed power lines can be dangerous and people should stay away from them and not try to move them or try to remove trees from themWhat to do in case of a power outage:
If your power goes out, first check to see if the power outage has been caused by a problem in your home or building. It could be a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker in the panel in your home or in the box below the meter socket mounted on your home or nearby pole. Check with your neighbors to see if their power is out, too.
If you believe the problem is on Black Hills Electric’s distribution system, call us at (605) 673-4461 or 800-742-0085. We will dispatch a service crew, on call at all times, to restore your power as quickly as possible. After regular business hours, when you call the office, a recording will give you four choices. Please use:
1 – To report an outage
2 – For billing questions
3 – To record your meter reading(s)
4 – Other
When reporting an outage, you will be asked to enter your phone number. Please make sure that we always have your current phone number on file.
During severe weather, a power outage could be widespread and prolonged and the telephone lines may be very busy — please keep trying until you reach us. Be assured the BHEC employees will do everything they can to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. In addition, we call in crews from neighboring cooperatives and from power line construction companies to help out when necessary.
It is a good idea to be prepared for a power failure, especially during the winter. Plan on an alternate source of heat, such as a kerosene heater or wood-burning stove or fireplace. In some circumstances, a stand-by emergency generator may be a good idea. Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlight in your home, have plenty of blankets and stock up on food, water and candles when severe weather is forecast.