Power outages were experienced by 600 ECI REC member-consumers as a result of damage to the distribution system caused by Sunday night’s straight-line wind storms that hit the southeast section of ECI REC’s Benton County service territory. Operations Manager Gary Marlow reported the strong winds covered about a five-mile-wide path that started near Watkins and stretched about 20 miles diagonally nearly up to the south edge of Walker.
All of ECI REC’s line crews were called out to repair the damages and will continue to work throughout the day Monday to replace broken poles and lines. Marlow went on to say that the crews have reported observing that the way the debris was lying led them to believe that the damage had been caused only by straight-line winds. Poles were broken off at 45-degree angles, winds blew trees over power lines and carried grain bins and other debris from buildings into and through poles and power lines, causing damage to ECI REC’s distribution system. The damages included one mile of recently rebuilt lines of the FEMA grant project.
As of 10 a.m. on Monday there were still 76 members without power. Marlow indicated that crews should have power restored to all ECI REC member-consumers by the end of the day.