We are definitely experiencing a challenging time in our history. The extreme cold weather conditions have placed the electric power supply system in a very delicate state. While we all want to be able to go through our day as we normally do, that can have a very damaging and long lasting impact on the ability to deliver electricity to everyone across a 14 state region.
It is dangerously cold and we all have a right to be very concerned about the possibility of having our electricity turned off for any length of time. I understand that but I need to explain that the consequences of not taking these precautions when needed. The power grid is an amazing and strong machine. It delivers an unbelievable amount of power over thousands of miles of wire across a huge geographic area. But when the system is pushed beyond its ability to deliver this power, it becomes very fragile very quickly. So much so that it will destroy itself in an effort to keep the lights on. When this happens, equipment is damaged and outages take days and weeks before they are restored.
I want to thank our members for the patience and understanding you have shown so far. Many of you are asking for some sort of notice. That is a reasonable request, however, in our experience over the past 24 hours is we do not have that luxury. The transmission system operators are making decisions to save the power grid while trying to keep the lights on for as long as possible. The circumstances can change by the second and they must act very quickly to preserve the electric system. Please understand that this is an emergency situation that is needed to protect all of us from long term outages that could put lives at risk in these weather conditions.
The decision to turn the electric power off to anyone is not taken lightly. In the event that your cooperative is subject to a rolling power outage, please note it will last about one hour. We will not likely receive any advance warning.
Your cooperative will do everything we can do to keep you informed when we can. The demand on the electric system is expected to remain high through noon on Thursday. Please conserve energy where you can and be prepared for possible controlled interruptions to your electric power supply until then.