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Editor's Note: Southern Indiana Power issued the following news release Wednesday updating its efforts to restore power to customers impacted by this week's storm.
TELL CITY — Approximately 6,600 Southern Indiana Power members remained without power as of noon Wednesday. Due to widespread damage to lines in surrounding counties, other contract crews have joined forces with us working around the clock in an effort to restore power to members as quickly and safely as possible.
Members need to prepare for the worst. It may be into the weekend before all power is restored because of the difficulty in bringing equipment in to repair damages, due to the weather and road conditions.
The severe winter storm that has hit our service area has caused damage to our system comparable to the 1996 winter storm. Southern Indiana Power cautions the public to stay away from downed power lines and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard.
Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. A power line does not need to be sparking or arcing to be energized, even if it's sagging close to or on the ground.
Other utility lines can also become energized by being in contact with an electrical line. Lines that appear to be "dead" can become energized as crews work to restore power, or sometimes from improper use of emergency generators.
If you are using a standby generator to power your business or residence, make sure a transfer safety switch is used or connect the appliance directly to the generator output through an isolated circuit before you operate it.
"We appreciate our members' patience as we continue to restore power. It is important that members continue to report their outages to us on a daily basis to help us keep outage information current and prevent anyone from slipping through the cracks," said Don Etienne, manager of member and corporate services for Southern Indiana Power. "However, due to the high volume of telephone calls, it may be very difficult to contact the office. Please do not get discouraged."
Southern Indiana Power can be reached at 547-2316.