MidAmerican Energy workers return home in time for local outages

Local News

MidAmerican Energy workers are home from their mission to the Hurricane Ida aftermath in Louisiana.

Supervisor Jason Bahl describes what he and other employees witnessed there.

“You saw broken poles. As you got further south, a lot more destruction to buildings; poles in the road, so there’s safety concerns there, even with driving,” said Bahl. “So just a lot of damage.”

MidAmerican sent 120 employees and contract workers south, along with 72 vehicles.

They spent two weeks working 12-hour days restoring power and sleeping aboard a cargo ship.

The destruction they saw was overwhelming.

“Over 2,000 linemen, I think, helping MidAmerican Energy, and at the front end of the hurricane down in Louisiana, they had like 26,000 linemen they’re taking care of,” said Bahl. “The level of outages was about three times that of the derecho, even more so.”

MidAmerican Energy says about 29,000 customers are still without power.

Workers returned to the Quad Cities just in time for Monday’s storms.

Meteorologist Garrett Heyd says lightning strikes caused not one but three power surges in Rock Island.

Those surges left about 1,300 customers without power.

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