Power restored to hundreds in Fort Atkinson as wind chills dip

Power restored to hundreds in Fort Atkinson as wind chills dip

Hundreds of people were without power in Jefferson County Wednesday during a weather advisory that forecasted dangerous wind chill values.

We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said 1,043 customers in Fort Atkinson were without power for beginning at about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. Manthey said Fort Atkinson customers had their power service restored by about 4 p.m. About 400 were without power for more than five hours.

Manthey said the faulty cable was not yet fixed at 4 p.m. but service was restored by rerouting power from other lines.

Crews had determined Wednesday shortly before 1 p.m. that an underground cable fault was causing the outage, Manthey said. Workers isolated the section of cable where the fault may be but still needed to dig up the cable to confirm the issue and fix it. 

Manthey said he could not provide a timeline for when the cable was repaired. He said the fault with the cable was not yet clear, but it was unlikely it was caused by cold weather.

The city of Fort Atkinson opened the Municipal Building Gymnasium Wednesday to serve as a temporary warming shelter Wednesday, the city said in a statement online. The gym would be available until 5 p.m., and the city was prepared to make further arrangements if the outage continued.

The wind chill advisory in Jefferson County is in effect until noon Thursday. The wind chills in the Jefferson County Wednesday could cause frostbite on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less, according to the advisory.