SPRINGFIELD, Neb. – The recent severe thunderstorm did a number on Springfield, Nebraska and much of Cass County, knocking out power for thousands.
A major thunderstorm hit the area beginning around 8 p.m. and lasted nearly three hours Friday evening. While nearly every surrounding county received some type of damage, it was Springfield, some six miles north of Louisville. that saw the worst of it.
Power is out for the entire city of around 1,000 people and with many power lines down around town, it could be several days until OPPD gets things up and running.
“Those heavy winds they took down trees, they took down power poles, lines are tangled in trees, there’s just a lot of restoration and rebuilding to do,” says spokeswoman for Omaha Public Power District Paula Lukowski.
OPPD will have a better idea on a restoration timeline by Saturday night.
Lukowski tells NCN that one-third of their 5,000 sq. mile coverage area had power outages. In fact, it was one of the worst storms they’ve seen in the past 40 years.
“This one would rate fourth, it’s not something that happens every year,” says Lukowski.
But thankfully, she says, as of late Saturday afternoon, they’ve made solid progress.
“We’ve cut the outage numbers by more than 50 percent, last night at the peak there was about 76,000 customers out. Now were down to about 36,300,” says Lukowski.
People in Louisville, Murray, Weeping Water, Manley, Elmwood, Plattsmouth and other nearby towns also saw their power go out during the storm, and some are still without power in those locations.
Three other Nebraska power districts are assisting OPPD with the restoring power, with additional line technicians from outside the state, coming to Nebraska to help out.
Lukowksi warns the public to avoid downed lines.
“Stay away from all downed lines, treat every line you see as live and high voltage,” says Lukowski.
If you see a downed line on private property call OPPD at 1-800-554-6773, or call 911 if it is in a public location.