Verendrye Electric photos show harsh working conditions

We received photos taken by Tom Rafferty, Verendrye Electric’s community relations manager.

Verendrye Electric's bucket truck got stuck in the snow Monday.

The truck was stuck 20 miles south of Minot, North Dakota. A local farmer helped pull the truck from the snow-filled ditch.

Jeff Krueger helped pull the bucket truck out with his tractor. A local news crew captured the moment.

In Verendrye Electric’s service territory, there were four poles down and 800 members affected during the storm. Power was back on for all members by 3:10 p.m. Monday.

Jim Hagen, Velva-area lineman for Verendrye Electric.

“Our linemen did an excellent job through very difficult conditions to restore power to members as quickly as possible,” says Rafferty. “The weather conditions proved to be especially difficult because the wind and blowing snow made it hard for them to see what they were doing.”

Verendrye Electric has these photos and more from the storm on their Web site: Verendrye Electric Cooperative

Local television news crews produced stories on the linemen’s tough day at work on Monday.

Rick Erickson, Velva-area foreman for Verendrye Electric.

Local news stories:
KXMC CBS 11: Struggling with power lines

KMOT TV (NBC): Workers battle windy conditions

Minot Daily News: Winter weather continues

A crew from Basin Electric’s communications department is planning to head to Bowdle, SD, tomorrow to get a look at the damage to the AVS-to-Broadland line. We hope to have more here on The Flip Side next week.

More ice storm coverage on The Flip Side:

In the news: Lineworkers, co-ops working to get the lights on 1-26-2010

Ice and wind take a toll on Basin Electric transmission lines 1-25-2010


  1. I really think these photos capture a common occurrence, i.e., reality! – about the partnership rural co-ops share with their consumers. I can’t tell you how many stories I heard in Montana and Nebraska about “ … farmer so-and-so came with his tractor to pull out our trucks … at XYZ co-op during 1) blizzard 2) spring flood-mud” … fill in the blank. To me, these pictures say it all – visibility is about zero and it’s literal hell out there, but provider-consumer work together to get the power back on.

  2. Tom Rafferty says:

    Thanks Tracy and everyone else at Basin who helped put this story together on the Basin website! It is important to show people what line workers have to go through in these conditions. We were fortunate in Verendrye territory that we did not have many poles downed compared to some of the other coops.

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