Getting Our Power Back
This winter storm system is unlike anything we’ve seen in a generation. We are battling Mother Nature to restore your power.
We understand the frustration that comes along with extended periods of no electricity. Our friends and family rely on us to restore power, and we take pride in delivering the best service.
But, winter storms can be unrelenting and continually “undo” repairs until the weather breaks. That doesn’t stop us from making repairs in the harsh conditions until they stick. We appreciate the kindness members have shown our UCEMC employees, expressing appreciation and bringing food and coffee.
At UCEMC, we feel that “knowledge is power.” As we work to get the electricity flowing to your home, we want to empower you with updates, news, and information during this crisis. Many of you have questions about how we restore power. Here are some that we see the most:
Your Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I don’t see a UCEMC truck in my area. Are they working on getting the lights on in my neighborhood?
Even though you can’t see a utility truck working nearby, rest assured that UCEMC crews are working to get your lights back on. In the graphic above, you can see that we begin closest to the main lines near the substations and work our way out until we find the problem. Sometimes you can’t see the problem area that is causing your outage. It may be a significant distance away on a main line and need to be fixed before we can restore your power.
Q: My neighbor across the street has power, but I don’t. What’s going on?
You may notice that someone nearby has power back on before you do, such as one side of the street versus the other side. That’s probably because different power lines serve the two areas. It could also be a component on your house or meter pole is damaged. If you know that power is restored to your area and you see no damage to the service connection at your home, but you’re still in the dark call 1-800-261-2940 or visit the UCEMC website to report your outage. If you see damage to your service connection such as your meter being torn off the house by a limb, you’ll need to get a licensed electrician out to fix your equipment before your power can be restored.
Q: I’ve reported my outage at least three times. How do I know that I’m being heard?
We thank you for reporting your outage by calling 1-800-261-2940 or visiting ucemc.com. Once you’ve done that, your outage is reported. Reporting an outage on the website is simple and easy when the call system is overwhelmed, as it is during this winter weather crisis. Call centers are not staffed to take 10,000 plus calls. We need to know about each and every outage.
Q: I see in your updates that power in many homes is on, but still, mine has been out for more than 24 hours. Why can’t you tell me when my power will be restored?
With an ongoing winter storm and widespread outages, time estimations for repair are impossible. Until the weather clears, new issues continue to develop across the system, despite UCEMC’s best efforts. In worst case winter storms like we are experiencing now, sometimes the same repairs have to be made over and over until the weather clears.
Q: How do you decide what to work on first?
In order of restoration, crews are dispatched first to deal with public safety threats, such as wires down that block roads or streets, traffic lights, etc. They also have to conduct damage assessments to assess where and what supplies are needed to make repairs. Our Right of Way (tree crews) must often be called in to clear fallen trees and limbs from roads before fixing the problem. We start repairs with the main lines, feeding from our power delivery points (or substations). Sometimes those repairs are extensive, and with ongoing winter storms, sometimes repairs have to be made over and over until the weather clears. Then, it takes additional time to repair neighborhood and individual lines once the main lines are repaired.
Q: My power was on yesterday for a few hours and then went off again. Sometimes, my lights are blinking off and on. Why is this happening?
Unfortunately, until the weather forecast changes in our favor with warmer temperatures, this may continue to happen during this winter weather crisis. Our crews are making great strides, getting large numbers of members back online each day. More trees are breaking during the freezing nights, and limbs are snapping and falling on the lines. Sometimes the limbs make the lights blink, while heavier limbs and trees take out the wires – and your power.
We’re here to answer your many questions and help in any way we can. Please continue to visit ucemc.com and our Facebook page for information as this winter weather crisis continues.