Lights are Out in Lemmon Following Winter Storm - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Lights are Out in Lemmon Following Winter Storm

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Four-thousand one hundred and ninety-nine to go. That's how many power poles are down in Perkins County after last weekend's winter storm.

"We had at least one death in Perkins County attributed to the weather." says Mike Schweitzer, Perkins County Commission.

The damage is so bad that power companies like Grand Electric Co-Op called in help from the South Dakota National Guard. The assistance has been extremely helpful according to the Co-Ops general manager, Jerry Reisenhauer. "We have several dozers and equipment from the National Guard and we appreciate all this assistance we're getting from those organizations."

The guard's bulldozers moved snow so utility crews can install replacement poles as quickly as possible.

"We have about 10,000 consumers without power, it was a devastating storm no doubt about it," says Reisehauer.

The city of Lemmon had power restored, but it's the outlying rural areas that are still unplugged.

"As far as being in the country we were snowed in for 3 days without being able to get out," says Chuck Christman, a resident of Lemmon. 

It will be at least two weeks before power is restored to all customers. And unfortunately for residents that haven't been reconnected, it's supposed to snow again this weekend.

Which Lemmon Mayor Neal Pinnow wants to prepare his community for, "I think it's definitely going to make people a little more prepared. I know there's people already who are looking into, maybe who don't have generators are looking into possibly getting generators put in."

Grand Electric says they believe the costs to replace all those power poles and lines will be about fifteen million dollars. The company is hoping to talk to FEMA to offset some of that, but they can't do that until the government shutdown ends.

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