Western Iowa electric cooperatives are notifying customers of the potential of rolling blackouts today (Monday) and into tomorrow (Tuesday). According to Jim Gossett, CEO of Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative (RVEC) in Glidden, energy is in extremely high demand due to the frigid temperatures, and power may need to be rationed to protect the integrity of the entire electrical system.
Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Association and other rural providers are sending similar warnings to their customers. Gossett says, “We are not experiencing an emergency, just protecting ourselves from one.” Rolling blackouts are possible through at least tomorrow (Tuesday) evening and are most likely during peak usage times, which are generally between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. He encourages people to reduce their electricity consumption, especially during these periods, to alleviate strain on the system.
He suggests people prepare for a temporary loss of power in the same way they would plan for a storm-related outage. Have a few flashlights handy ahead of time, have an extra layer of clothes ready and conserve heat by limiting trips outside. MidAmerican Energy issued a statement Monday afternoon encouraging homeowners with natural gas heating systems to reduce usage as supply is limited due to frozen wells in the southern U.S. According to the National Weather Service, subzero conditions are expected in the listening area into Wednesday, but forecasts show temperatures returning to more normal levels for February by the end of the week.