DES MOINES, Iowa — MidAmerican Energy will send dozens of line crews to assist restoration efforts outside the company’s service area following a request for assistance made Aug. 18.
The company will send 60 linemen, 10 support employees, and equipment, to assist Alliant Energy with service restoration efforts in areas of eastern Iowa. MidAmerican crews will depart early Wednesday morning.
MidAmerican cleared its crews for mutual assistance work after concluding its storm response efforts over the weekend in the Des Moines and Iowa City areas, and the Quad Cities on Monday (Aug. 17).
MidAmerican offered additional assistance to city officials in Cedar Rapids through the company’s corporate citizenship initiative, called MidAmerican Energy CARES (Community Enhancement, Arts and Culture, Environmental Respect, Education/STEM and Safety). In coordination with the city, the company will send a team of approximately 200 employees on Wednesday and Thursday to assist local residents with storm cleanup.
Additionally, MidAmerican is procuring and providing storm cleanup materials that the city indicated its residents need, including loads of plywood, 2x4s, tools, nails, tarps, small consumables and other items. The company’s donation totals more than $100,000. MidAmerican also delivered more than 50 generators to the city to assist residents.
“The storm that hit our customers and others around the state was unlike anything in recent memory,” Adam Wright, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy, said. “But what isn’t unusual is our response to do whatever it takes to restore electric and gas service to our customers. In fewer than 120 hours, we were able to return electricity to more than 260,000 customers, or 92 percent, across three different metro areas. Now that we’ve returned service to all customers, we will now turn our attention to helping our fellow Iowans, by providing line crews, supplies and volunteers to aid with the cleanup in Cedar Rapids. I’m grateful for the personal responsibility our employees take in serving our customers and our broader community.”
System-wide, about 280,000 MidAmerican Energy customers lost service during the storm’s outage peak on Aug. 10.
After deploying crews throughout its service territory to affected areas, the company immediately requested assistance from out-of-state utilities and contract crews. More than 1,000 line workers and tree trimmers from nearly two dozen states responded to assist MidAmerican crews in around-the-clock restoration efforts.
In Des Moines, line crews restored all but a very small number of customers by late Saturday (Aug. 15). In the Quad Cities, crews restored all but a very small number of customers by early Monday (Aug. 17).
A small number of customers who remain without power must first seek repairs to privately owned equipment or components before line crews can safely reconnect them. Once customers inform MidAmerican that repair work on their equipment is complete, crews will reconnect their service as soon as possible. Customers without power or with other questions about their service should call MidAmerican at 888-427-5632.
Natural gas safety
during storm cleanup
Anyone who smells natural gas should leave that area right away. Don’t turn electrical switches on or off, or use any other device that could cause a spark, such as a flashlight or cellphone. From a safe location, call MidAmerican Energy immediately at 800-595-5325.
Commercial operators or property owners who plan to dig, including those removing debris that requires digging, must first contact their state’s free One Call service at least 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays) before digging. One Call services, called Iowa One Call in Iowa and JULIE in Illinois, are available by dialing 811.