Safety & Outages

Frequently Asked Outage Questions

It took a while before I saw any co-op trucks in my area. What took them so long?

A. McDonough Power has over 1,400 miles of line, mostly rural, to cover in the following counties: McDonough, Hancock, Schuyler, Warren, Knox, Henderson and Fulton. You may not see us working on the main roads, as our lines extend for miles into some of the most remote parts of our service territory. An outage must be restored from the substations out. It does not help to make repairs on the end of the line if you have no source of power at the beginning of the line. Often, we are working on restoring power to lines that may be miles away from where we are working.

Why don't you get more crews to assist you with the outage?

A.There are a couple of reasons -safety and fiscal responsibility. Our operations and engineering personnel and linemen know the direction our lines feed, where the protective devices are and how our system works. During a major storm, we sometimes have to change the way lines feed. We must keep track of these changes to be sure that we don't have one crew trying to energize a line that another crew may be working on. This is not information that can be taught in a short period of time. Operations personnel from other cooperatives could help some, but they cannot know the intricate details necessary to keep our workers safe. Neither can the linemen from other cooperatives or contract crews. It forces us to split our crews and personnel so that our experienced linemen can "birddog" (manage) for borrowed personnel to keep everyone safe. There is a limit to the number of crews a lineman can "birddog". Additionally, we must be financially responsible to our members. The residents who receive their power from us are our owners. As we determined the magnitude of the problems, we requested and received readily available crews from neighboring cooperatives and familiar contractors. Working outages in this manner is both efficient and financially responsible.

Who is going to pay for my expenses that I incurred because of the power outage?

A.The ice storm was an act of God. It is the goal of the Cooperative to have continuous, uninterrupted service. In the case of interruption of service resulting from acts of God and other acts reasonably beyond our control, the Cooperative shall not be liable for damages, direct, indirect or consequential resulting from such interruption of service. You may contact your insurance provider to see if your homeowner's insurance covers this expense. If your insurance company requests a letter from your power supplier just contact us and we will be glad to get you one.

Will you be adjusting our bill next month because it took so long to restore power?

A.We will not be adjusting any electric bills due to power loss from the storm. We are a not-for profit organization, owned by our members. You pay for the kWh used on your meters. When your meter is not turning, you are not using kWh.

I thought you have the new AMR (Automated Meter Reading) system, why couldn't you tell whether or not my location had power?

A.Automated meters installed to remotely read meters can help indicate where outages are located. However, damage to the lines and ice that accumulated on the lines hindered communications with the system which prevented 100 percent knowledge of all outages. It is still important for members to call and report outages, especially if power lines are down or other obvious damage can be reported to the co-op dispatchers.