Crews work to return power to 100,000+ homes after pair of storms hit Northwoods
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – Thousands of people in the Tomahawk area and other northern Wisconsin communities were left without electricity after two strong thunderstorms last week, forcing crews to work throughout the week to restore service to more than 100,000 homes.
The first storm rolled through the area on Monday, July 26, with strong winds taking down trees and damaging power lines, knocking out power for more than 60,000 homes.
On Wednesday, July 28, with more than 15,000 homes still without electricity after Monday’s storm, a second storm hit the area, bringing torrential rain and intense winds and leaving thousands more homes without power.
On Friday, July 30, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) said it had restored service to more than 110,000 customers, noting that it was working in the areas most impacted by outages, including Tomahawk, the Town of Bradley and the Lake Nokomis and Spirit Flowage areas. Merrill, Wausau, Eagle River, Lac du Flambeau, St. Germain and the Lakeland area were also points of focus.
“Our crews continue to come across extensive damage, including multiple broken utility poles, numerous downed trees and downed power lines as they have worked as safely and as quickly as possible,” said Matt Cullen, Senior Communications Specialist for WPS.
Crews worked “around the clock” to restore service to homes affected by the outages, Cullen said.
As of early Friday, July 30, 2,768 WPS customers, including 163 in Tomahawk, were still without electricity. Cullen said WPS expected all customers to have their power restored that night.
“Crews will continue to work nonstop until all repairs have been made,” Cullen stated.