ATC works to restore power to thousands in wake of Wisconsin storms

Published on September 05, 2018 by Chris Galford

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The days leading up to Labor Day weekend saw 12 Wisconsin counties hit by two massive storms and several tornadoes, leaving the American Transmission Company (ATC) to restore power hurriedly.

In all, nearly 40,000 retail customers were hit by outages, with eight transmission lines knocked out of commission. It was the result of a ripple-out effect along several 69,000-volt lines spreading east. This led to 25 crew members dispatched and help from local distribution companies like Alliant Energy and We Energies, though their efforts were hindered by the large scale of rainfall deluging roads. Aerial patrols were dispatched to storm-hit areas and found 16 impacted trees or poles in the service area.

ATC notes that despite the scale and setbacks, they had most transmission lines restored soon after the water subsided. All but one line is now fixed, though that line is still being repaired.

While most storms spread their damage around through lightning, these storms were damaging largely because of wind. Operators report that the high winds shattered trees and hurled branches onto lines, which forced outages. Some poles were snapped outright and took down a whole line.