WPS busy with clean up, power restoration efforts

Severe storms, strong winds and an isolated tornado hit the northern and central portions of Wisconsin Thursday afternoon and evening. Tornado warnings were issued for Marathon, Lincoln, and Langlade counties after a tornado was spotted just west of Rib Mountain.
Shortly before 7 p.m., a tornado was spotted about six miles west of Rib Mountain near Wausau, heading northeast. Tornado sirens were activated in the city of Merrill, as the storm passed through southeastern Lincoln County before moving on into Langlade County. There were no reports of injuries or structure damage.
Trees and branches on power lines, a few broken poles, power lines down and blown fuses are what Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) power restoration crews are facing today as the company restores power to the remaining 2,700 electric customers without electricity. Strong winds, which began yesterday afternoon and lasted into the evening caused power outages to WPS electric customers in nearly all of the 19 counties that the utility serves. The hardest hit areas were in the tree-covered northern counties.
The areas most affected yet this morning are Antigo, Eagle River, Minocqua and Rhinelander. All available WPS crews have been dispatched to the hardest hit areas to assist in restoration efforts. WPS expects that all customers’ power will be restored by later in the evening.
As of 9 a.m. Friday, 195 WPS customers remained without power in the Merrill area.
With the first summer holiday upon us, WPS wants to remind residents and “seasonal customers” to stay away from downed power lines and to treat them as if they are energized. Do not attempt to clear downed trees from areas near power lines and stay away from any situation that looks like it might be unsafe. Also use caution in wooded areas where you may be hiking, biking or using motorized vehicles as wires could be laying on the ground or hanging from trees. Be Safe.
If you have an electric emergency, contact WPS at 800-450-7240. If you have a natural gas emergency, contact WPS at 800-450-7280. All other emergencies please call 911.
Customers who are without power and have internet access can report an outage via their mobile device, laptop or tablet. They can also visit the WPS website: www.wisconsinpublicservice.com to view outage information.

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