In recent days, the high winds have been more than an annoyance for the City of Fairbury, as crews from Fairbury Light and Water have battled the conditions to restore power in areas around the county.
Jim Morehead, Electric Line Superintendent for the City of Fairbury explained that linemen worked late into the night Monday, trying to repair power lines and poles downed by the heavy gusts of wind, which left some without power for up to and hour.
“I would guess that we had up to 60 mile per hour winds,” said Morehead. “It did cause us a little bit of havoc. We had one bad pole, which ended up causing a domino effect. We ended up losing four poles when one snapped off about 25 feet in the air. It was pretty heavy pressure on the lines. It was the main feeder line going towards the brickyard on the Camp Jefferson road.”
Morehead stated that people in Jansen, Harbine and near Endicott were affected by the outages on Monday. A tumbleweed was the cause of the outages in Jansen and Harbine, as it was lodged in a lightning arrester, resulting in a malfunction of the line.
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to electrical lines, Morehead emphasized. He explained that the public needs to be cautious around downed power lines, especially when they are lying across roadways.
“All in all, whenever there’s power lines on the road, you have to take a lot of care,” Morehead said. “You’re assuming they’re dead lines, but they’re not always. Whenever you see wires down, be sure to call the proper authorities.”
Morehead has been pleased with the service provided by Jefferson County Dispatch, noting that they have helped Fairbury Light and Water to stay on top of outages as they occur.
The City of Fairbury also saw damage to one of their structures as a result of the high winds. On Monday, part of a roof was blown off of a storage garage near the former power plant. During the Tuesday’s city council meeting, City Administrator Collin Bielser acknowledged the damage, explaining that they are working to repair the roof.
“We had some very high winds yesterday [Monday], and we did have some power outages, mainly in the rural area,” said Bielser. “Our guys worked really hard; they were out there close to ten o’clock. We did call in Dennis Steele to help at the power plant. We actually did have damage to one of our shops across from the power plant. I was very thankful for Dennis Steele and Dennis McAtee being there. They worked up a system to make sure the roof wouldn’t blow off because it was close to completely detaching. The guys did a great job.”