Power is still out in some areas of Barron County from the storm that rammed through the county on Friday evening, July 20, Mike Judy, county emergency services, said on Saturday afternoon.
"Approximately 10,400 residents are without power, as 115 power crews actively work toward clean-up and restoration," he said.
In the update on the storm recover efforts, he noted:
> The following is an estimated outline of power restoration:
- Barron Utilities: 700 residents without power, 30 crew members working. The majority of power is estimated to be restored late Sunday or early Monday.
> Barron Electric: 6,500 residents without power, 35 crew members working. The majority of power is estimated to be restored by Sunday night.
> Xcel Energy: 3200 residents without power, 25 crew working, 25 tree-cutting crews enroute to assist. Unknown restoration time.
> Cumberland Utilities: No power outages. Crew members are providing mutual aid to surrounding power companies.
> Rice Lake Utilities: No power outages. Crew members are providing mutual aid to surrounding power companies.
> Barron Hospital is operating on backup power and has enough fuel to last 72 hours, with refuel agreements already in place.
The Red Cedar Church (1701 W Allen St., Rice Lake) has voluntarily opened its doors as a community shelter to provide countywide power-affected residents with coffee, water, refreshments, and power outlets for charging personal devices. Doors will be open on Saturday from 12:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
To be eligible to apply for the Wisconsin Disaster Fund (WDF), townships must sign a Disaster Declaration. The town of Chetek, city of Chetek, and the town of Prairie Farm have indicated they will submit a declaration soon. Other townships will be contacted over the next 24 hours.
The National Weather Service is sending a Damage Assessment team to Barron County to determine if yesterday’s storm was straight-line winds or tornadic.
The Barron County 911 Center lost all phone connections (inbound and outbound lines) from 8 to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.
"CenturyLink is still working to determine the cause," Judy said, "and all 911 lines rolled to Polk County. Requests for assistance were relayed from Polk County to Barron County via the Point-to-Point frequency."
United Ag Co-Op will be refueling propane tanks at all radio tower sites Saturday afternoon. For tower sites are inaccessible due to debris, however, tree-cutting crews are enroute. Once clear, United Ag will complete refueling operations.
All state and county roads are open, with the exception of Cty Rd. G, which is closed by Scott Lake due to trees and lines down.
Multiple township roads are blocked with trees and lines, however, road crews are actively working to clear and reopen.
1) Power restoration: Power companies are actively working to repair electrical networks and restore power. No further assistance requested at this time.
2) Road clearing: Townships are actively working on debris clearing so secondary roads can be reopened. No further assistance requested at this time.
3) Residential debris clearing: Homeowners will be spending the next several days clearing debris from properties and driveways. No further assistance has been requested at this time.
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