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Pierce Pepin works to restore power in Ellsworth area

Pierce Pepin works to restore power

Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS), the electric utility headquartered just west of Ellsworth, was experiencing widespread power outages Thursday throughout its service area in Pierce County and in parts of Pepin and St. Croix counties as a result of the spring snowstorm.

Heavy snow has toppled trees and power lines, causing extensive damage.

PPCS line crews were working hard to get power restored. The co-op requested assistance from neighboring electric cooperatives to restore power to its members through the Restoration of Power in an Emergency (ROPE) program. Two crews from Riverland Energy Cooperative, Arcadia, were assisting with the power restoration effort.

Those who have special needs such as home-health requirements should contact their health care provider or the emergency services providers in their area.

Keep informed of any new developments on the co-op's website (, Facebook and Twitter. Check the outage map or login to SmartHub for the latest information about the areas affected.

What to do if the lights go out:

--Check fuses and circuit breakers to make sure the problem is not with own electrical equipment. Check with neighbors to see if they have electricity.

--Report an outage by calling Pierce Pepin at 800-927-5705. Phones are answered 24/7. Be prepared to provide phone number and account number in an emergency.

--Keep away from downed wires and power poles. Do not cut or clear away trees and branches near power lines. Report these hazards to Pierce Pepin.

--If using a portable generator, plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. Never plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as "backfeeding," can electrocute line workers and others served off the same utility transformer.

--Prevent a heavy burden to the electric system during power restoration. Turn off all unnecessary appliances, including air conditioners, and all but one interior light.

--When power is restored, slowly switch on appliances and lights.