East River Electric Power Cooperative continued making progress on restoring power to thousands of electric cooperative consumers on Friday after severe weather caused extensive damages throughout much of eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. East River Electric’s wholesale power supply service area covers eastern South Dakota and portions of western Minnesota, and high winds damaged the utility’s transmission power lines and substation infrastructure across much of their system.

At the height of the event on Thursday evening, 56 East River Electric substations as well as seven municipal customers served by East River were out of power across the cooperative’s service area. East River also had at least 20 areas with significant transmission structure damages. Throughout the storm and overnight, East River Electric’s system operations personnel worked to reroute power and restore members as soon as possible.

As of 12 p.m. on Friday, 17 East River substations and 2 municipal customers remained without power, impacting approximately 9,100 member consumers. Crews are continuing to work diligently to rebuild damaged lines and repair impacted substation equipment.

“We would like to thank the region’s cooperative consumers for your patience and understanding as we repair damages and restore power throughout the region,” said East River Electric General Manager and CEO Tom Boyko. “Our teams are working diligently to safely restore our system following this severe weather event.”

As a reminder, never approach damaged or downed power lines.