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More than 1,000 people working to restore power across SE Wisconsin

Posted at 1:14 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:41:37-04

MILWAUKEE — According to We Energies, over 1,000 men and women are working to restore power in Southeastern Wisconsin after storms left thousands without power. We Energies says it plans to have most customers affected by power outages by the weekend.

Power has been restored for over 160,000 customers since the storms ravaged the area earlier this week.

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, We Energies said it planned to restore power to approximately 200,000 customers by 12 a.m. Friday. By the end of the day on Friday, the company plans to restore power to 95% of those impacted by the storms, and by midday Saturday, all affected will have been restored or have crews working to finish restoration.

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We Energies President Tom Metcalfe said Wednesday that this is the biggest mass restoration effort in the company's history.

"It was the worst I've ever seen, and I am 64 years old. It was bad here," said West Allis resident Mary Sayeg.

"My kids are all close by, they are bringing me ice and food," said Sayeg.

"I'm just concerned for her safety with the weather being warm," said Sayeg's granddaughter, Emma Sayeg.

We Energies said in a statement:

"Many of the major power lines have been restored and now we’re in a phase of restoring single customer by single customer. Parts of our system will need to be completely rebuilt before power can be turned back on. We sincerely appreciate the continued patience and support of our customers."

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"Our focus now is more on a hand-on-hand combat, one customer, at a time, single customer restoration," said Tom Metcalfe, president of We Energies.

It's a process that could take longer in some neighborhoods.

"It's really matching the workload with the resource. They've got to remove trees, they have to bring vehicles in, they have to clear a path, we then have to have multiple members of the crew to string the new service to the house," said Metcalfe.

"We know how tough it is to be without power for this extended period. We know it's stinking hot. We know our customers are struggling, and again, we just want to say how much we appreciate their patience," said Metcalfe.

You can view the most recent power outages here.

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