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The original item was published from 2/16/2021 4:49:00 PM to 2/19/2021 12:00:04 AM.

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City of Pierre News

Posted on: February 16, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Pierre Put on Standby for Blackout


Pierre Put on Standby for Blackout

PIERRE, S.D. – At the request of SPP (Southwest Power Pool), the City of Pierre is preparing for a potential electrical blackout early tomorrow morning.

If ordered by SPP, the blackout will last between 30 and 90 minutes. No individual property is expected to be without power for more than 60 minutes.

“Due to the extreme temperatures, on a national scale, we have an electrical supply and demand issue,” said Brad Palmer, Pierre Utilities Director. “To help manage that demand, power suppliers are issuing temporary power outages throughout their service territories.”

Because demand is constantly fluctuating and is impacted by communities as far away as northern Texas, power suppliers won’t know until early tomorrow morning if they’ll need to issue a blackout. 

“We may not get shut off, but the community members should prepare to be without power for up to an hour tomorrow morning,” said Palmer.

Different parts of the community are fed by different substations. This allows the City to have some control over which geographic areas are impacted.

 “We will try to prevent impacts on the hospital, schools, skilled nursing facilities and other critical infrastructure,” said Palmer.

The City of Pierre does not generate power. It purchases electricity from two wholesale power suppliers –WAPA (Western Area Power Administration) and Missouri River Energy Services. Those two entities along with a variety of other power generators pool the energy they produce into the Southwest Power Pool; that pool supplies energy to more than a dozen states ranging from the Canadian border to northern Texas.

To help alleviate the power strain, residents are encouraged to conserve energy by delaying use of dishwashers and washers and dryers, turning down heat, and shutting off lights. For more energy saving measures, visit




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