Thousands were without power in southwest Wisconsin as temps approached -30

Thousands were without power in southwest Wisconsin as temps approached -30

For the second morning in a row, thousands of people across southern Wisconsin were experiencing power outages as temperatures dropped to near-historic levels.

Just before 4 a.m., an outage affecting more than 300 customers was reported near Paoli, south of Verona. Alliant Energy is investigating the cause of the outage and is estimating the power there will be back on by 8 a.m.

A handful of communities in southwest Wisconsin were also seeing power outages early Thursday morning. An outage affecting 771 customers south of Montfort, 578 customers near Rewey and 466 customers near Belmont began just before 4 a.m.

Alliant Energy says that outage was caused by an ATC transmission line going out, which shut down three substations serving those areas. As of 8 a.m., the three substations have been put back online, and most of the power has been restored to those communities.

Alliant says an ATC transmission line fell on top of their distribution line.

In southeast Wisconsin, an outage affecting 119 customers near Zenda, south of Lake Geneva and near the state line, was also reported.

Low temperatures across Wisconsin are expected to drop to between -20 and -30 degrees Thursday morning before a slight warmup begins, but high temperatures are expected to stay below zero.

It’s the second day in a row multiple power outages due to the extreme cold have been reported. Outages in Mineral Point, Beloit, Fitchburg, Janesville, McFarland and parts of Iowa and Grant counties were among those reported on Wednesday. The majority of power outages in the cold are related to equipment failure, when insulators, fuses and other pieces get brittle and break in the cold.

If your power goes out, it’s recommended you try to find a nearby location that does have heat, or wear layers of loose-fitting clothing and avoid opening and closing doors to trap as much heat into a central room in your home as possible. Crews work to get power back on as soon as possible, and outages lasting more than a few hours are unlikely.

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