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OPPD holds press conference on power outages and restoration efforts

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 23:08:06-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday afternoon, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) leaders gave an update on restoration efforts while nearly 30,000 customers were still without power from this weekend's severe weather.

In Sarpy County, specifically, there was a little more than 4,300 who didn’t have electricity.

As frustrations grow for those still in the dark, OPPD says they’re hoping to bring power back to 99% of its customers by tomorrow night.

“I know the pain you’re going through and believe me, there’s 1,900 of us who know that pain and know that its real," said Javier Fernandez, CEO of OPPD. "We are not letting go until your power has been restored as quickly and as safely as we possibly can.”

They're hoping to reach their goal by bringing on nearly 700 people to make repairs and adding 30 extra tree trimming crews to address limbs getting in the way.

More than 150,000 customers have had their power restored so far of the nearly 180,000 who lost power on Friday night. Another 10,000 were expected to have power by the end of Monday night.

But others are not so lucky. 21,000 were told by email or automated voice message not to expect power to be restored on Monday, while around 2,000 will be waiting even longer.

“We will also be proactively communicating with just under 2,000 customers who we believe have significant damage that will take the longest to repair," Fernandez said.

As of Monday night, the areas still without power were primarily in North Omaha and near Offutt Air Force Base. Fernandez said they’re not prioritizing any neighborhood, but are focused on safety and efficiency.

"Work that is the most complex to restore, as I mentioned just a few minutes ago, which often has seen significant damage, downed limbs and debris takes the most time," Fernandez said.

Fernandez said customers should not be expecting the extra hands and extra hours at OPPD to be reflected on their bills.

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