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We Energies: Humidity, road salt blamed for Monday morning power outages in Milwaukee County

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 13:14:07-05

MILWAUKEE -- Humidity and road salt sparked a power pole fire Monday morningin Milwaukee near Burrell and Waterford. 

At one point, close to 5,000 customers lost electricity. 

Amy Jahns with We Energies said a mixture of the fog, humidity and road salt sparked the fire and crews have been dealing with this problem for weeks.

"Light snow, humidity even fog can cause this moisture. Plus, we have the combination of road salt that gets on our equipment and it becomes a conductor. The electric already going through our equipment can then cause that fire," said Jahns. 

It took about 2 hours to restore power to all the customers affected Monday.  

"When you have these pole fires, sometimes we need to replace the equipment. You need to take out the pole and replace it. It can be a complicated process that takes time. We have seen a little over a dozen fires this month because of this problem."