More blackouts are possible Tuesday night and Wednesday morning
MOORHEAD, Minn. — More rolling blackouts are possible Tuesday night until 10 o’clock and Wednesday morning in Moorhead.
Tina Kooren is one of approximately 9,800 people in Moorhead impacted by Tuesday’s rolling blackouts.
She runs a home daycare and when the power went out at 10 a.m., she had eight kids to look after.
“My main concern was just the heat, you know, the temperature in the house and what I needed to do if it got so cold and if it was off for more than 30 minutes,” Kooren explains.
She says her power outage only lasted about 15 minutes, but others were closer to 30.
That was the case at Concordia College, where several buildings including the heating plant and networks system building were out of power.
“The networks system handles our phones and internet system, so those systems were down for that short period of time,” says Concordia College Communications Director Amy Kelly.
The rolling blackouts by Moorhead Public Service are due to the widespread and extreme cold weather conditions in the central and southern regions of the country. Generating capacity has dropped below the demand for electricity.
“This was coming from above Moorhead Public Service,” explains MPS General Manager Travis Schmidt. “We were being told by our system operators to do the rolling blackouts.”
That system operator is Southwest Power Pool, which declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 Tuesday morning, triggering rolling blackouts across the region.
MPS was notified only 30 minutes beforehand.
“Unfortunately, that’s not a lot of time to get a press release out and to communicate with everybody that something’s going to happen of this extent,” Schmidt says.
“I looked on my phone and then all of a sudden, I got an alert, but that was probably a good five minutes after it happened,” recalls Kooren. “At least a heads up would’ve been nice to know.”
Officials with MPS say customers will be notified through a press release and social media before future blackouts.