Restoration of Nebraska Public Power District's 230-kV transmission line, severely damaged in a July 17 wind storm, was completed when the line was re-energized Monday, Aug. 30.
Crews completed restoration work on a section of the line between the District's Riverdale substation, located north of Kearney, to a substation east near Grand Island Monday afternoon. A total of 129 structures were damaged on the line, with approximately 18 mi of power lines coming to the ground.
Earlier, another section of line, running west from the Riverdale substation to Crooked Creek substation, north of Lexington, was restored August 22. That section of line saw 87 structures damaged with 14 mi of line down over two separate sections. A third transmission line, running from Riverdale to the Tower substation in Kearney, had an additional eight structures damaged with about one mile of line being downed. That work was completed several days after the storm.
NPPD's Transmission and Distribution Manager Tom Kent said that completing the work and restoring the system back to full operation took a combination of team work from District employees, contractors, and suppliers to return the line to service.
"We met our goal of having the line safely returned to service by the end of the month," Kent explained, "we used our best available resources, including stringing of line using a helicopter, to bring the line back into service. While meeting that goal we also had a safe restoration effort by employees and contractors.
"NPPD thanks the many property owners for their cooperation as their property was impacted by the power lines that were downed and throughout the restoration process." NPPD will continue to work with those property owners to restore property and repair damages caused by the downed lines or reconstruction work.
The July 17 storm pushed through the area bringing winds that measured between 70 and 100 miles per hour. While those high voltage lines were lost that night, NPPD's control center was able to redirect power so that no customers were without service.
NPPD estimated the cost of reconstructing the two lines at approximately $12 million, with a portion of the cost to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Final right-of-way clean up and demobilization for both lines will continue for about two more weeks.