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Crews with We Energies on stand by to respond if power goes out

"We can throw hundreds of people at a restoration effort."
Waukesha experiencing widespread power outage
Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 19:28:23-05

MILWAUKEE — A rare weather event means a busy day of preparation for utility workers.

Brendan Conway with We Energies said crews are ready to respond if power goes out.

"The tough thing about this storm is it's such a wide area right now anticipated that we can't move a lot of resources to one specific area," Conway stated. "We can throw hundreds and hundreds of people at a restoration effort."

He said crews learned how to handle a massive restoration effort this summer when powerful storms knocked out power to thousands of people for several days.

With advanced notice of Wednesday night's wind event, Conway urges people to prepare now.

"Have an emergency kit ready, whether it's a flash light with batteries a way to charge your cell phone remotely, blankets," Conway said.

Beyond what you can do inside your home, Conway said there are things you can do to help utility workers.

"If you have something outside, maybe a lawn chair or Christmas decorations or an ornament that can blow around, (those) can come into contact with our equipment and cause an outage."

With events still planned for Wednesday evening, state patrol asks people to only travel if necessary.

"We would hope that folks will recognize that if it's to safe for them to be out there that they make the right decision to stay home," said Tony Burrell, Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent.

However, if you need to be outside, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has the following tips:

  • Download the 511 app to Monitor conditions 
  • Watch for objects in the road
  • Keep safe distances from other vehicles 
  • If you need to pull over… do so away from trees or other objects 

If you do venture on the roads, monitor conditions closely, and keep a safe distance from other cars, especially 18-wheelers.

"When traveling around large vehicles such as semi units those vehicles are the ones that are going to be susceptible to blowing over," Burrell said.

Crews with We Energies are asking people to stay away from downed power lines, and to report any outrages in your area online, through the app or simply by calling.

The Holiday Lights show at the American Family Field will be closing an hour early Wednesday night for safety reasons. The show will end at 9 p.m.

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