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Omaha residents experience rude awakening due to rolling outages

For days, OPPD and other utility companies have warned that outages could happen and many in Omaha woke up to no power. A couple of people told us about their experiences from this morning.
Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 19:08:47-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — When a massive controlled outage hits the city of Omaha, residents have to manage in the dark.

"I had to get ready for work in the dark because I didn't want to open blinds and curtains, because I was keeping those closed to keep the cold out. I kept the blinds and curtains closed just to keep it as warm as I could," a resident named Shaunda said.

Sara Kohen also went without power for an hour.

"The temperature dropped a few degrees, our garage door didn't open," Kohen said.

Shaunda discovered her apartment and her workplace had lost power.

"The power came back on around 8 at my apartment and it went out at my work, I think around 8:30. Obviously, no warning for either one," Shaunda said. "I didn't have flashlights, I wasn't prepared for the power to go out. They had sent the e-mail late Sunday night asking us to conserve energy and I thought, 'I can definitely start doing that.' Then the next morning, it's, 'We're in this emergency situation, we've got to cut power.'"

Kohen was aware of OPPD's warning to conserve power.

"I have four kids so one of the things I say is, 'Did you make sure you turned off the light before you left?'" Kohen said. "So we try to do that."

This brutal winter during a pandemic can cause issues for everyone, but Shaunda is feeling sympathetic for those struggling without the lights on.

"I worry about the people that are home sick. Some people have oxygen at home and they have medical things they rely on. If there's no power, those things don't work," she said. "I don't personally have family members like that but I know other people do and that's scary."

To lessen demand on the system, turn off a device instead of putting it in sleep mode, unplug things you're not using and turn off power strips.