Powering Up After an Outage

America’s Electric Cooperatives

When the power goes out, we expect it to be restored within a few hours, but when a major storm or natural disaster causes widespread damage, extended outages may result. Our line crews work long, hard hours to restore service safely to the great number of consumers in the shortest time possible. Here’s’ what’s going on it if you find yourself in the dark:

  1. High-Voltage Transmission Lines: Transmission towers and cables that supply power to transmission substations (and thousands of members) rarely fail. But when damaged, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.
  2. Distribution Substation: A substation can serve hundreds or thousands of consumers. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself or if the problems exist further down the line.
  3. Main Distribution Lines: If the problem cannot be isolated a the distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments.
  4. Tap Lines: If local outages persist, supply lines (also known as tap lines) are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers, either mounted on poles or place on pads for underground service, outside businesses, schools and homes.
  5. Individual Homes: If your home remains without power, the service line between a transformer and your residence may need to be repaired. Always call to report an outage to help line crews isolate local issue.