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Power restored to more than 263K WPS, We Energies customers affected by storms

Data pix.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN -- We Energies announced Tuesday, July 23 power was restored to more than 263,000 WPS and We Energies customers affected by the destructive storms that hit Wisconsin over the weekend.

According to We Energies, just over 18,500 WPS and 3,500 We Energies customers remained without power in some of the hardest hit areas -- as of Tuesday night.

We Energies personnel was working on restoration, including their own crews and others from around the Midwest. Additional crews were arriving Tuesday.

Officials said they expected to have almost all We Energies customers around the Appleton and Waupaca areas back in service by late Tuesday. They expected to restore power to 95% of the WPS customers by late Tuesday – if they wee able to receive service.

Most WPS customers in the highly devastated areas around Wabeno, Antigo, Elcho, and Stevens Point should have power restored by the end of the day Thursday, officials said.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs issued this update on the situation Tuesday:

Governor Tony Evers traveled to Appleton today, where he and WEM Administrator Dr. Darrell Williams met with local officials and viewed damage caused by recent severe storms. Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes traveled to Wausau, to view storm damage in that region of the state and meet with local officials. The visits follow the governor’s Sunday declaration of a statewide State of Emergency, which directed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to provide assistance if needed.

Approximately 30,000 customers statewide are without power. The majority of those are WPS customers, which says about 23,000 are without service. The utility has so far restored power to more than 161,000 customers since Friday. Restoration efforts in Elcho, Wabeno, and Post Lake, and Stevens Point may be complete by Thursday night, but it is possible the process will not be complete until Friday or Saturday.

Other utilities report they have restored service to most customers or anticipate completing their work by Wednesday. As their work concludes, they are sending linemen to assist other utilities with restoration efforts.

The Wisconsin National Guard has two dozen soldiers in Langlade County, where they were distributing potable water Tuesday at five locations. The Wisconsin National Guard armory in Appleton is also providing housing for linemen working to restore power in the region, due to a lack of available hotels because of the annual EAA event in Oshkosh.

The state is currently working with county and tribal partners to collect damage estimates. Residents are being encouraged to call 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211 to report damage done to private property. The public can also contact 2-1-1 for information on volunteer assistance that may be available in their area.

LOCAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTERS OPEN
Langlade County
Portage County
Menominee Nation
Menominee County
Wood County

LOCAL EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS
Several counties have declared a State of Emergency in response to the storm damage, including Clark, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Polk, Langlade, Sawyer, and Vernon counties. The Ojibwa Nation, and Towns of Enterprise, Ojibwa, Shoepke, and Rock have also issued emergency declarations.

ESTIMATED PUBLIC DAMAGES
The preliminary estimate for public sector costs associated with the storm is about $1.6 million. Many counties have not yet reported anything to the state, and these numbers are expected to fluctuate as cleanup and assessment efforts continue. Most of the costs incurred so far are for emergency protective measures and debris removal.

ESTIMATED PRIVATE DAMAGES
Damage assessments to private property are ongoing. Residents in affected counties are encouraged to document their damage and report the information to the state’s 2-1-1 service by calling 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211.

COUNTY/TRIBAL STATUS REPORTS
The following counties and tribes are those that have reported new information to the state in the past 24 hours. Several counties continue to work on debris removal efforts and may be experiencing power outages. Utility crews remain active in several counties right now, where they are working to restore power.

Northeast

Langlade County
Debris cleanup and power restoration efforts continue. Wisconsin National Guard support continues with approximately two dozen soldiers providing potable water at five distribution locations throughout the county.

Marathon County
Scattered power outages remain, with service anticipated to return on Wednesday.

Menominee County
Many of the areas have had power restored, but there are still some without service. Food spoilage has been an issue and efforts are being made to help residents secure food from pantries and other sources.

Northwest

Sawyer County
Power restoration efforts continue.

Tribes

Menominee Nation
Most areas of the reservation now have power restored. The Red Cross has set up a feeding site. County and Tribal Emergency Management are working jointly to continue needs assessments

Oneida Nation
Oneida Nation is still experiencing some power outages. Cooling centers and charging stations were open again today to address the needs of those still without power.

STATE AGENCY RESPONSE

WI Department of Health Services:

WDHS is reaching out to the local public health agencies in the impacted counties to check for unmet needs and to insure assisted living and long-term care facilities are being checked on.

WI Department of Natural Resources:
The DNR has launched a webpage to providing municipalities, businesses and property owners information on cleaning up debris from the recent storm events. The site can be accessed at the following link - https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Waste/StormDebris.html

VOLUNTEER AGENCY RESPONSE

Adventist Community Services
Provided volunteers to Langlade County to assist with distribution of water.

American Red Cross
The Red Cross is working with local emergency management in continuing to operate reception centers where people can get food, water and other supplies. Those centers are located in Rosholt (Portage County), Mountain (Octonto County), and Wisconsin Rapids (Wood County). The organization provided food support for Menominee County and the Menominee Indian Reservation.

Salvation Army
Coordinated with American Red Cross to provide meals to Menominee County/Menominee Nation.

Team Rubicon
Currently mobilizing a team for the Langlade County area to begin help Wednesday with debris removal efforts.

2-1-1 Wisconsin
2-1-1 Wisconsin is collecting damage reports and referring callers to available disaster resources. Residents can also report damages online at: https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/damage-report

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Isolated thunderstorms are possible Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, primarily across the eastern half of Wisconsin. Cloud to ground lightning and brief heavy rainfall may occur with the storms. No severe weather is expected.

RIVER FLOODING

Moderate Flooding:
The Kickapoo River at Stueben appears to have crested and is expected to fall below moderate flood stage by Wednesday evening.

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