Outage Safety

 

Always stay far away from downed power lines and assume that all power lines are energized and dangerous.

 

  • Stay away from any downed line, whether on the road or in your yard. To report a power outage at your home or business, call CU at 1-888-863-9001. If you want to report a downed line, even if you are not sure if it is an electric, telephone or cable line, call (417) 863-9000 and choose the electric option.
  • Do not remove debris from power lines – assume they are electrified and dangerous. Use extreme caution when inspecting your property. Downed power lines, whether obvious or hidden by debris, have the potential to energize fences and other objects they contact.
  • Respect any electric emergency or work scene and treat it as any other emergency scene. Please keep your distance and allow crews to work without distraction.
  • Be aware of electric lines at all times, especially when moving ladders or doing any work on or near the roof of your home. Assume that any line is electrified and dangerous.
  • Never climb electric poles or towers, or enter CU electric facilities, like substations.
  • Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions for operating portable generators. Improper operation can be hazardous both to you and to utility workers, as generators may cause carbon monoxide poisoning and/or generators may feed power back into CU’s lines, posing an electrical risk.
  • Portable Generators must be operated outdoors in a well-ventilated area to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should not be wired into them, unless serviced by a qualified, licensed electrician as generators may leak power back to CU’s lines and pose an electrical risk. If your generator has been directly wired into your home without a safety cutoff switch, City Utilities will not complete the restoration of power to your home, as this poses an electrocution hazard. A qualified, licensed electrician must remove the generator’s direct wiring before City Utilities will complete the power restoration.

Outage FAQs

What can I expect during an outage?

After you have called the CU outage number, your call is automatically logged to initiate repairs. This system allows CU crews to determine a repair strategy, especially for significant outages.

When will power be restored?

During widespread power outages, determining estimated times for restoration on a per customer basis is not feasible. Please be assured that City Utilities will work diligently to get our customers restored.

During catastrophic outages, such as mass tornado damage or significant ice damage, repairs often start by fixing problems starting from the power plants and working out toward the substations and feeders, and then into the individual neighborhoods and homes. CU’s engineers also try to prioritize the repairs by fixing the areas that will restore power to the most customers at a time or do the greatest good for the community (hospitals, emergency services).

Why haven’t I seen any repair trucks in my neighborhood?

During major outage situations, CU will utilize outside contractors to maximize restoration efforts. These contractors won’t be in official CU trucks, so it may not be apparent that they are affiliated with City Utilities. Also, just because you haven’t spotted a crew in front of your home, doesn’t mean that CU isn’t working on repairs to your line in a different section of your neighborhood.

The people across the street have power. Why don’t I?

There can be many reasons why this situation has occurred. For example, different feeders or transmission lines may be serving opposite sides of the street. If the power outage is isolated to your specific home, there could be damage to your service line or your weatherhead. A call to a qualified, licensed electrician could help.

My power was back on – now it’s off again. Why?

In outages, utility workers, for safety and restoration purposes, may need to de-energize circuits from time-to-time, depending on the repair work that needs to be accomplished. In this case, the subsequent outage should be short-term, usually lasting for an hour or so. During these types of outages, your patience is requested, and it is not required that you notify our outage center.

Should I take care of fallen tree limbs?

If tree limbs are touching the electric service line to the home, CU contractors will trim the trees as necessary to restore power. If the electric service line to the home must be replaced, CU contractors will perform necessary tree trimming to replace the service line. In both cases, the customer is responsible for removal of cut trees and tree limbs from their property.

Weatherheads

The weatherhead — piping, usually on the roof, with wires entering the house — is the point where electric service enters the residence and is part of the home.  If the weatherhead is damaged, customers must have it repaired by a private, licensed electrician before CU can reconnect electric service.

After the electrician has made their repairs, the electrician (or their designee) will need to inform CU of the repaired status.

Damaged Weatherhead

Damaged Weatherhead

Normal Weatherhead

Normal Weatherhead

 

Weatherhead Diagram

Diagram of showing owner & utility responsibilities

City Utilities installs and maintains these components: (match number with picture)

  1. The service wire that carries energy from the service line to your home or business
  2. The electric meter that measures how much energy you are using

 
The customer is responsible for these components:

  1. The service bracket or pipe riser which protects the connection point for the lines entering your home or business
  2. The weatherhead which keeps rain and other material out of the pipe riser
  3. The pipe riser which protects the lines entering the meter base and the wires inside of the pipe riser
  4. The meter base that protects your connections to the meter

Only a licensed electrician should ever attempt to work on these parts of your electrical system.