Energy companies prepare for winter storm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Energy companies prepare for winter storm

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By John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) - Energy companies across eastern Iowa tell us they are ready for the worst. MidAmerican Energy has brought in contractors from Minnesota, Nebraska, and Kansas, just in case the ice and snow cause major power outages. 

In February of 2007 a sheet of ice blanketed most of eastern Iowa. Thousands of people were without power from major cities like Waterloo and Cedar Rapids to smaller communities like Dysart. Tree limbs and power poles covered the landscape crumbling from the extra weight of the ice.

Energy companies like MidAmerican are working to make sure the power poles stay up and if they do come down they say they will be ready.  

MidAmerican Energy started preparing for this storm yesterday by implementing its severe winter weather plan. It includes bringing in four hundred line contractors and two hundred tree trimming personnel. These workers will be on the front lines if the ice starts building up.

They will also be checking their supplies to make sure they have enough fuel, power poles, and line. Company Officials say they are just like the boy scouts, always prepared.

"It's essential to have all of the folks in place prior to this storm hitting because travel conditions can be treacherous and if we have the folks in line and in the areas we need them it makes restoration more efficient," Mike Gehringer of MidAmerican Energy said.

If you see a downed power line you are asked to call your local energy company. Also never assume that the power is off always treat the line as a live wire.

The CDC has some power outage safety tips. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use common sense and use generators, grills, and similar items, outdoors. If power is out longer than two hours, throw away food that has a temperature higher than 40-degrees.

Check with authorities to be sure your water is safe.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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