WPS ‘hopes’ to provide restoration timeline by end of Sunday

By Brandi Makuski

Wisconsin Public Service on Sunday confirmed about 82,000 customers across Central Wisconsin remain without power.

Matt Cullen, a senior communications specialist for WPS, said crews were in the field actively addressing power outages since a Friday night thunderstorm.

Their work was largely undone by Saturday’s storm, which knocked out power for 94,000 in the region.

“This wasn’t a storm that hit any one particular area,” Cullen said. “It really did impact our whole service area.”

Cullen said about 28,000 of those customers without power were in the Stevens Point/Plover Metro Area. WPS has requested aid from other power companies, some from out of state, and some of that assistance arrived in the area on Sunday, he said.

“We do have additional requests for help out,” Cullen said. “All available personnel are working on the problem. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, there are hundreds of people working on this right now.”

Cullen said the storm, which brought straight winds traveling over 80 mph, was so severe it damaged part of the WPS network.

“The outages could last a number of days,” Cullen said. “The damage is so extensive we’ll have to rebuild part of our network. We’ll continue to do that as long as we need to.”

Cullen said he hopes to have a better estimate for power restoration by the end of the day on Sunday.

An outage map on the WPS website is currently down due to a technical issue, Cullen said, and he’s not certain when it will be back up and running.