Typically, one of the first steps Crow Wing Power takes - to prevent injuries and fires - is to make sure that power is no longer flowing through downed lines. Restoration then proceeds based on established priorities.

The first to be repaired are transmission lines and distribution substations, because they are the most important lines carrying power from generating plants to large numbers of customers over wide areas.

Next, Crow Wing Power will restore power to critical community services such as, police and fire protection, and communications facilities.

The next priority is to restore service to the largest number of people as soon as possible. Service to neighborhoods, industries, and businesses is systematically restored, followed by single residences and small groups of customers, until restoration is complete.

High-voltage transmission lines feed power from generation plants to distribution substations. They seldom fail, but they can be damaged by ice storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, preventing other parts of the system from providing power to members. Because each high-voltage transmission line can serve tens of thousands of people, repairs at these sites take top priority.

Substations get power from transmission lines and carry it safely, at a lower voltage, for distribution to communities that serve thousands of consumers. 

The distribution lines carry electricity from substations to groups of customers, like neighborhoods. When these lines are repaired, power can be restored to the homes and businesses along those lines. Again, repairs are prioritized by the number of members who can benefit.

When others near you have their power restored, but yours is still out, it may indicate damage to a service line. Service lines deliver power to the transformers—either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service—that serve individual businesses, homes, and schools. If you still have no power after your neighbors’ lights, come back on, call or text OUT to 800-648-9401, so a service crew can check the service line.


  • The majority of Crow Wing Power outages are restored in two hours or less. Keep in mind, there are many factors to consider when estimating restoration time – weather conditions, the time of day or night and the resources required to determine the cause of an outage.
  • Sometimes an outage is experienced by the people who provide power to us. When we report a transmission outage, this means a large utility supplying power to one of our substations is experiencing an issue. Sometimes Crow Wing Power crews assist in restoring these outages, and sometimes the Cooperative must wait for restoration just like you do.