With blizzard conditions impacting western South Dakota and northeast Wyoming, thousands of people are now without electricity, information from the South Dakota Rural Electric Association shows.
As of 2:45 p.m. Saturday, the electric cooperative is reporting nearly 5,000 power outages, with the majority of those in Pennington and Custer counties.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. Saturday, one of the member cooperatives, West River Electric Association, which supplies power to much of Box Elder and Rapid Valley, reported a loss of electric transmission feeds from the Western Area Power Administration.
According to the West River Electric Association’s Facebook page, a power line crossbar near New Underwood fell causing the power outage and loss of electric transmission. Crews were on scene repairing the pole in howling winds and heavy snow.
As of 2:39 p.m. Saturday, West River customers in Box Elder, Rapid Valley and near Rapid City Regional Airport should have had power restored, the company said.
Black Hills Energy, which is not part of the cooperative, but provides electricity for the majority of the urban Rapid City area, was reporting only seven outages at 2:45 p.m. Saturday. Black Hills Energy customers reported sporadic power flickers occurring, but no major outages as of Saturday afternoon. over most of Rapid City and the northern Hills.
At 3 p.m. Saturday, the South Dakota Rural Electric Association reported the following locations were still without power:
Black Hills Electric Cooperative – 3,046 customers
West River Electric Association – 97 customers
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Black Hills Electric Cooperative – 1,506 customers
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Black Hills Electric Cooperative – 68 customers
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Black Hills Electric Cooperative – 8 customers
West River Electric Association – 2 customers