Hundreds of Natrona County Residents Still Without Power During Below Zero Weather
UPDATE: 9:11 PM:
Many Natrona County residents are reporting that their power is still out. It's currently unknown if this outage is due to the same reason as the previous outage, but numerous people are saying that their power is out. The email below is one that many residents have received:
The Rocky Mountain Power website is reporting that more than 2,000 Natrona County residents are without power.
At last check, the weather outside is currently at -18 degrees below zero.
UPDATE 8:30 PM:
K2 Radio News was able to speak with a spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power, who shed a little light on the power outage.
"It looks like we had an outage," said Jona Whiteside with Rocky Mountain Power. "It affected about 700 people. I think we were down for about 21 minutes."
Originally, we were told that the winter storm today was what led to the outage, but that turned out not to be the case.
"We had a piece of equipment that needed to be replaced," Whiteside said. "Typically, when we have these things, sometimes we can switch customers over to a different power source, so it's uninterrupted. But this one, we actually had to de-energize at the substation to be able to fix that piece of equipment. So they were quick, they knew exactly what they needed to do. They were in and they were out and I think they said originally that the time would take about an hour and it actually took them 21 minutes."
When asked if the repair was due to this current storm, Whiteside said that it actually was not.
"No, they said it was just faulty," he stated. "It just sometimes happens. Are you guys getting a lot of wind up there? (HA!). We're getting quite a bit down here, so they went and looked and it was just so much deterioration."
When asked why they chose today, or all days, to perform this operation, Whiteside said the crews didn't have any other choice.
"There was not an option to switch customers to a different power source or a different line," he said. The only way to do it was to go in and actually fix it, which is why they waited to make sure they had the equipment. They had the crew on hand. And, like I said, it only took about 21 minutes. So hopefully we'll be given a little bit of slack with customers. Because that really is our goal; to always ensure that we've got reliable power for the customers."
Rocky Mountain Power announced that they have shut off power to almost 700 customers in Casper due to 'Emergency Repairs.'
That's according to Rocky Mountain Power associate, who K2 Radio News spoke with on the phone.
The outage is taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and, according to the associate, it's affecting 699 people.
The outage was discussed in the Facebook Group 'What's Going On in Casper' with some people calling it a hoax, other people saying they received notifications.
K2 Radio News can confirm the outage, however.
Customers that were affected by outage received this voicemail:
Many are criticizing the decision to turn off power, given the current weather climate. But, as the message suggested, this was not a planned interruption and it was due to the weather.
When K2 Radio News asked which area of town the outage, we were put on hold. We are still on hold.
We will update this story if and when more information becomes available.