Even the most reliable electric service can go out, especially during severe weather.

At Magic Valley Electric Cooperative our goal is to provide safe and reliable power, and during a storm or a hurricane our priority is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible.

The major cause of most power outages comes from damage to power lines due to falling trees and branches. We work year round – through right-of-way clearing – to ensure power lines in our service territory stand little risk of being damaged by trees, branches or other types of vegetation.

Despite our best efforts, during major storms, damage can occur to transmission stations, substations and power lines. In the event of a power outage, you can trust that Magic Valley Electric Cooperative is ready to respond.

We work closely with South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC), our generation and transmission provider, to restore power to our members as quickly and safely as possible. The big problems are handled first—such as damage transmission lines which serve substations. These problems must be corrected before we can focus on other areas where more localized damage might have occurred.

STEC and Magic Valley’s line crews inspect substations to determine if the problem starts there, or if there could be an issue down the line. If the root of the problem is at the substation, power can be restored to hundreds, possibly thousands of members.

Next, MVEC line crews check the service lines that deliver power into neighborhoods and communities. Line crews repair the damaged lines, restoring power to hundreds of people. If you continue to experience an outage, there might be damage to a tap line outside of your home or business.

Tips on how to report outages:

•    Check and see if your neighbor has electricity. If they do, have an adult check the fuses or circuit breaker to rule out problems with electricity inside your home
•    Once you’re sure it’s an outage, report it to your electric utility company. To report an outage to MVEC you can:

-Report it through the MVEC App
-Report it at magicvalley.coop
-Call 866-225-5683

•    Stay up-to-date on outages using a transistor radio, your mobile phone on the MVEC App or MVEC Facebook & Twitter pages.
•    Use a flashlight when it gets dark; avoid using candles because of the risk of fire.
•    Unplug computers, TV’s, game consoles, and other sensitive electronics and appliances to avoid possible damages when the power comes back on.
•    Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored.  The MVEC app will also send you a notification to your phone when power is restored to your home.

We will do our best to avoid power outages, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this guest column shows the San Carlos colonia near Edinburg, Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dolly in July, 2008. (File Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)