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OPPD returns power to most of 33,000 who lost it in Wednesday morning storm

Posted at 7:32 PM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-13 11:53:17-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 5,450 Omaha Public Power District Customers were still without power after a storm rolled through the metro on Wednesday morning.

That's about 15% of the more than 33,000 who lost it initially. By noon, it was down to about 11,000.

OPPD did not have a timetable on when power is expected to return to those customers as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday morning update: 734 customers remained without power at 7 a.m. Thursday. At 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, 3,341 customers remained without power, and 2,037 remained without power at 9:30 p.m.

Updates are available from OPPD here.

Outages cause many headaches, from worries about food spoiling to car accidents at stoplights, that aren't working.

Gabby Angon was out walking one of her dogs Wednesday morning in her neighborhood northwest of 78th and Pacific Streets, looking to escape the warming house.

A couple of blocks away, a branch had taken down a power line. Outages are more common in older neighborhoods like hers, where wires are above ground and there are plenty of trees.

At 78th and Pacific Streets, the stoplight being out seemed to be the cause of an accident. Not all drivers appeared to understand it should be treated as a four-way stop.

Tom Hoover was one of the 11,000 still without power just after noon.

"Our lives are good," he said. "Nothing to complain about. (OPPD workers) are working hard, and they're on their timetable."

In order to avoid letting any warm air into the fridge or freezer, he ordered Chinese takeout.

The Douglas County Health Department had these food safety tips to share:

  • A full freezer will safely hold food for 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will safely hold food for up to 24 hours.
  • Pack items from the refrigerated section, like milk, meat, fish, eggs and spoilable leftovers, into a cooler filled with ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work fine for this.
  • Use a digital quick-response thermometer to check the temperature of your food before you cook or eat it. Dispose of any food with a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

OPPD cautions everyone to assume downed power lines are live, and report them.
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