Heartland electric co-ops warn customer of possible rolling blackouts

Power outages in the Heartland 2/16

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (KFVS) - Several electric cooperatives that serve customers in southeast Missouri are sending out alerts about possible rolling blackouts.

According to the Black River Electric Cooperative (BREC), Associated Electric Cooperative (AECI), the power supplier for Missouri’s electric cooperatives is anticipating an unprecedented demand for electricity, which has created an emergency that could last through Friday, February 19.

The extremely constricted supply of natural gas from Texas and Oklahoma has also contributed to the emergency.

In order to reduce usage pressure on the electrical grid, rolling blackouts will be used.

Blackout periods are planned for 60 minutes, but the co-ops report the outage times could be longer.

Members in affected co-ops will be notified as soon as possible.

BREC, SEMO Electric Cooperative and Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative are urging customers to safely reduce the use of power as much as possible.

They offer the following suggestions:

  • Turn down thermostats 2-3 degrees and use a blanket or warm clothing to help conserve electricity and stay warm.
  • Limit the use of larger appliances, such as laundry or dishwashers.
  • Use smaller kitchen appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves and slow cookers to make meals, rather than relying on a cooktop range or oven.
  • Turn off and unplug space heaters that are not needed and to reduce the use of them as much as possible.
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use.
  • Unplug/turn off unused electronics, chargers and lights.
  • Roll up a towel to put at the bottom of a leaky door to keep drafts at bay.
  • Lock doors and windows for a better seal. For drafty windows, close storm windows and consider keeping window shades closed for extra insulation.
  • Do not block heating system air vents with furniture, curtains or rugs.

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