HULL, Iowa -- MidAmerican Energy said Friday it has restored power to thousands of customers who lost service after an ice storm and high winds knocked down scores of electric poles and lines.
MidAmerican crews worked through the night to repair the damage in Lyon, Sioux, O'Brien and Plymouth Counties, Union County, South Dakota, and elsewhere, who had their power knocked out by a powerful storm that began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning.
The utility said the outage impacted some 5,500 people at its peak early Thursday morning. As of Friday morning, about 233 customers were still without power.
The majority of those are expected to have it restored as early as Friday, though some rural customers could remain without power for another day or more.
"Restoring the system is going to take some time due to the extent of the damage," said Geoff Greenwood, a MidAmerican spokesman. "There may be approximately two dozen customers out into the weekend."
Lyon and Sioux Counties were among the hardest-hit by the outages. In Lyon, roughly 50 transmission poles were taken down between Inwood and Fairview. In Sioux County, 60 transmission poles went down between Hull and Orange City,
More than 100 line workers and support crews were dispatched by MidAmerican Thursday to repair the lines, working through the night to get power service restored.
The winter storm that moved into the region on Wednesday crippled travel in much of South Dakota and parts of Nebraska and Iowa. As much as 18 inches of snow has fallen in parts of South Dakota.
The storm "threw everything at us," Greenwood said -- high winds, snow, ice, rain. Galloping lines were reported in the impacted counties during the storm, and when lines gallop, a cascade of downed lines and poles can follow.
MidAmerican was hopeful that most, but possibly not all, of the customers would see their lights come back on Friday.
On the plus side, a round of nice weather is expected for any line crews still working in Northwest Iowa this weekend. The region is expecting partly- to mostly-sunny weather conditions Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.