Tornadoes, ice storms, or just heavy winds and lightning storms can cause widespread outages in the electric system. When an emergency occurs, Ripley Power and Light follows a plan to restore power to its nearly 6,000 electric customers. With each decision, the underlying goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of customers in the shortest time possible. Ripley Power and Light employees always are on call to respond to emergencies, and when major emergencies occur, more employees are called in to help.
At the first signs of any outage, our first step is to assess the extent of the problem and to ensure any downed lines are not hazardous.
Problems on transmission lines and at electric substations are fixed first since they can affect thousands of customers and whole communities. We also give priority to critical places like our hospital and water treatment plants and customers who depend on life support. (You can get your name on our priority list if you have a doctor’s statement saying you are dependent on life support equipment.)
We then fix problems on feeder lines that leave substations. Like branches on a tree, feeder lines serve many smaller lines that go down individual roads or to small groups of houses, for example. We work our way across the system, first repairing problems serving larger groups of customers to gradually repairing problems serving smaller groups. It does no good to fix a problem on a line providing electricity to only a few homes if the line serving it still does not have power.
Finally, we repair damage to service lines to individual homes. Again, making a repair to an individual home first is useless if the main line into the neighborhood has no power.
At times our process may seem confusing, particularly if you have no electricity. We appreciate your patience. Meanwhile, if we leave your neighborhood — and your neighbors have power, but you do not — be sure to call us so we know to return to your home at some point.
Our electric monitoring system alerts us to power outages and helps us pinpoint the causes of the outage. Still, we rely on our customers to report outages.