ROBIE CREEK – Power has finally been restored to residents throughout southwest Idaho, but doins so has been a challenge for Idaho Power crews.
A storm on Monday wreaked havoc on the area, with 60 mph winds reported along with thunder and lightning. The event caused entire trees to be uprooted and power lines to be knocked down.
“The trees came down like a pick up sticks game,” said Idaho Power spokesperson Lynette Berriochoa. “We had a case where one tree came down and it pulled down nine poles."
Some still don’t have electricity.
Near Cascade, 14 miles of power lines came down in the storm. As of late Wednesday evening, 1,400 people were still without power. By 12:30 p.m. the last 220 customers had power restored.
Berriochoa told KTVB that some of the worst-hit areas include McCall and Cascade, although areas in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho City, Placerville and Centerville, and even closer to Boise are affected as well.
Berriochoa says the terrain in mountainous areas affected by Monday's storm has been a tough battle for power crews.
Idaho Power had crews on standby before the storm hit earlier this week; they also have a materials yard, where stock poles and wire are ready for replacement.
Yet those measures still haven't turned the juice back on for Curtis Blevins, who lives just outside of Boise, up Robie Creek Road.
A buzzing noise resonates from Blevins' property these days, because his house is equipped with a backup generator to keep his refrigerator and freezer cold. Still, he says it doesn’t give him water, so Blevins and his wife haven’t been able to shower in days.
“There are a lot of people affected,” Blevins told KTVB.
KTVB found a contract company out of Meridian working on Robie Creek Road Thursday. Power lines were seen downed by broken trees along the road. Berriochoa said the volume of work is so large that outside agencies have been called in to help.
“When the damage is extensive as this was, it just takes a little while, our manpower is limited,” said Berriochoa.
Although his home may be last to get connected, Blevins understands you can’t do much about the wrath of Mother Nature.
“It’s part of the price for living up here,” he said. “You know if you want power 24/7 you need to live Columbia Village or something.”
Idaho Power feels thankful for the understanding of customers like Blevins.
“They understand that this is the nature of having electricity we can’t guarantee it unfortunately,” said Berriochoa.