UPDATE: Utility Crews Making Progress On Iowa Storm Repairs
Despite challenging wind conditions, utility crews made significant progress overnight to restore power to areas of Iowa that were impacted by Wednesday's powerful storm.
More than 150,000 power outages were reported statewide at the height of the storm. The powerful weather system spawned at least five tornadoes, caused one death and left damage in each of Iowa 99 counties.
Thursday morning, Mid-American Energy said most of its customers can expect electricity to be restored by the end of the day. Any remaining outages should be restored by 6 PM Saturday.
In a press release, company officials said crews restored electricity to more than 30,000 customers overnight. They confirmed that high winds and severe thunderstorms caused extreme damage in parts of the state by taking down both wires and transmission or distribution poles.
Mid-American Energy officials said in a news release they expect to find more damage Thursday when crews assess the situation during daylight hours.
Nearly 48,000 Mid-American Energy customers were without power at 10 PM Wednesday. Company officials estimated then that it would take 36 to 72 hours to restore electricity to the impacted areas. Here's a summary of the main impacted areas and the estimated restoration times:
|Area||Customers out as of 7 AM||Peak customers out||Estimated Restoration Time|
|Council Bluffs||6350||19000||Most by midnight tonight, all by 6 pm on Saturday|
|Sioux City||90||4600||Most by noon today, all by midnight tonight|
|Storm Lake||180||2300||Most by noon today, all by 6 pm tonight|
|Fort Dodge||4400||15000||Most by midnight tonight, all by 6 am on Saturday|
|Des Moines||5090||18000||Most by noon today, all by 6 am Friday|
|Waterloo||2600||4900||Most by afternoon today, all by 6 am Friday|
|Iowa City||70||400||Most by noon today, all by 6 pm tonight|
|Quad Cities||10||1600||Most by noon today, all by 6 pm tonight|
According to the chart above, more than 11,400 customers were still in the dark in the Council Bluffs and Des Moines areas at 7 AM, and another 7,000 had no power in Fort Dodge and Waterloo. As the storm moved west to east across the state Wednesday, nearly 56,000 customers in the four cities combined lost electricity.
In the meantime, Mid-American Energy is asking its customers to call 800-799-4443 to report any electric emergencies. To keep up to date on power outage across Iowa, CLICK HERE.
Wind gusts -- clocked as high as 80 miles per hour in several locations Wednesday -- calmed down considerably overnight as the storm moved out of Iowa, but they remained strong. A statewide high wind warning expired at 6 AM Thursday.