July 22, 2019 06:39 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- The power is coming back on for members of a local electric co-op after a weekend storm left many customers in the dark.
And if the story sounds familiar, there's a reason.
"I think the brunt of it went right over Albert Lea,” said Jack Kortan at Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services. “If you drove through Albert Lea, you'd see. I mean, there was streets you couldn't even get through with the trees."
Monday was another day of repairs for crews at Freeborn Mower, and it comes three months after the co-op was battered by a storm of a different kind.
"The storm rolled through Saturday morning with some pretty high gusty winds and really what we're experiencing is a lot of trees that went down and took our power lines and some of our poles with them," the cooperative’s Jim Krueger told us.
“Very few in Mower County,” Kortan added. “Most of it in Freeborn, and the majority of it was in Albert Lea."
"At the height of the storm we had around 5,000 customers out of power," Krueger said.
It's not the first time this year the co-op has been hit hard by Mother Nature. A spring storm did an estimated $3 million damage to the Freeborn Mower system.
"They're significantly different,” Freeborn Mower’s Krueger said. “Back in April with the ice storm, we had nearly 600 poles that broke and required replacement. This storm was different; a lot of tree-related damage that broke wire and maybe only 12 or so poles that we are aware of now that are broken. We have not brought in crews from outside; this is a storm we felt from the get-go we could handle in a reasonable period of time without outside help. And complicating that factor, a lot of our neighbors are dealing with the same things we're dealing with."
Freeborn-Mower hopes to have power available to everyone who lost it by the end of the day Monday.
Some property owners will need to have electricians do additional work, so it could be a while before all the power is back on.
Created: July 22, 2019 06:39 PM
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