Duke Energy workers expect to have all Vigo County and Wabash Valley customers restored to power today no later than 6 p.m., as crews battle extreme cold temperatures.
The temperature was minus 14 degrees at 8 a.m.
About 598 customers were listed without power in Vigo County this morning; however, that number was reduced to about 400 by mid-morning, said Rick Burger, district manager for Duke Energy.
“I feel comfortable that we will have everyone back on with power before 6 p.m. The last couple of nights has been pretty rough” on the electrical linemen, Burger said.
Burger said a full contingency of crews, included contracted workers, were once again dispatched today to restore power.
“What concerns me now, as things start to warm up a little bit and people start to try to get out, there will be some poles hit,” Burger said.
“The roads are packed and now we have targets along the road,” he said of the electrical power poles. “We didn’t have many broken poles through this so far. The sheriff’s department is reporting 30 to 50 stranded vehicles on county roads. Now my concern is with people with cabin fever will get out to drive, then, poof — hit a pole,” Burger said.
“That will be chapter two,” he said of the winter storm. Burger said Duke Energy has a “great supply of poles and a backup supply in Plainfield. Still the poles are my next concern.”
Duke Energy reports it has resolved more than 50,000 power outages related to this week’s winter storm and extreme cold temperatures. Approximately 3,100 were still out of service statewide as of 7 a.m.
Duke Energy is cautioning customers to avoid downed power lines as they could be energized and dangerous. Anyone without service should report power outages as well as downed power lines by calling 1-800-343-3525.