Springtime storms contributed to significant damage to NIPCO’s transmission infrastructure. In early April, Winter Storm Wesley took aim at the northern Plains bringing with it rain, snow, ice, and straight-line winds that took down 65 of NIPCO’s transmission poles. This early spring storm caused widespread damage to Iowa electric cooperatives and other utilities, including many of NIPCO’s member systems. Crews across Iowa and Minnesota, working with contracted partners and, in some cases, mutual aid provided by neighboring systems, were able to quickly restore service and rebuild the damaged facilities. NIPCO estimates that costs to restore the damaged infrastructure will reach $800,000.
In June, NIPCO learned that Presidential Disaster Declaration DR-4421 was amended to include counties within NIPCO’s service territory and that NIPCO would be eligible to receive assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to recoup some of the losses sustained from the storm event. NIPCO’s staff has been working with FEMA and Iowa Department of Homeland Security to file the required paperwork and NIPCO is awaiting a determination as to how much of the loss will be covered.
Meanwhile, NIPCO continues its work to upgrade and rebuild aging and outdated infrastructure via its multi-year construction plan to ensure that NIPCO’s transmission system stands, storm-hardened, in the face of extreme weather conditions. When Mother Nature’s wrath proves too powerful, however, NIPCO recognizes its real strength lies in the power of its partnerships with Iowa Homeland Security, FEMA, our member systems and the many industry partners who are dedicated to ensuring the safe, reliable, and affordable delivery of power to rural families in western Iowa.