Thousands still without power after storms flood Burlington substation

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 07:30:26-04

UPDATE 7/14 6:30 a.m. -- As of Friday morning, We Energies' outages map lists just under 4,000 customers without power in the city and town of Burlington combined.


Approximately 4,000 customers still don't have power Thursday in Burlington and they're facing another night without it as We Energies scrambles to restore service.

A representative with the company says flood waters surrounded the substation in Burlington, and crews can't safely access it to look at the damage.

They estimate that the equipment is under about three to four feet of water.

Most of the city is cut off as the bridges aren't safe to cross. Richter's Marketplace is one of the few businesses still open, after only losing power for about an hour Tuesday night.

The store has become a refuge for people who need food, bathrooms and a place to charge phones.

"It's weird and crazy," said Susan Richter-Huber, who manages the location in Burlington.

She believes they are one of only two grocery stores open and accessible to a city without power.

"They don't have running water so I think they're using our bathrooms, they've been in our hot deli quite a bit because we have food and they can't cook, they've been charging their cell phones over in our hot deli which is fine," she said.

Irene Elefante brought her laptop and phone to Richter's hoping to charge up before waiting out the outage tonight.Elefante brought her laptop and phone to Richter's hoping to charge up before waiting out the outage tonight.

"[I'll] try to do something in the apartment while there's still daylight," she said.

We Energies brought in two mobile transformers and hopes to have most of the power restored by Friday at noon.

Many of the city's residents have evacuated. Erin Weber left Wednesday night with her family but returned to survey the damage.

"I feel like I'm in a bad dream," she said.

Her basement has about six feet of water in it. They left in a hurry, grabbing what they could.

"It was dark and hot trying to get everything at least clothes and necessities packed up," said Weber.

Her neighbors could only reach their homes by boat.

"There's nothing much we can do besides see what we can save," Weber said.