It will be the first time that power crews from Wisconsin Public Service and WE Energies will be going outside the continental United States to help restore power. Several Northwoods personnel are joining the effort.

WPS announced the deployment Wednesday.

Spokesperson Matt Cullen...

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Minocqua residents are advised some utility work is coming.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen says they want to upgrade the natural gas distribution system...

"....we're starting to upgrade our natural gas distribution facilities in Minocqua this month. Those upgrades include approximately about 2.5 miles of new natural gas distribution mains and several service pipelines...."


Today is August 11. If you put the date into numbers, it's 8-1-1. 8-1-1 is also the number you dial to make sure you don't cut underground utility lines.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen talks about Digger's Hotline...

"....it goes back to the number 8-1-1. That's the number that anyone who is planning to dig or excavate must call. That goes to Digger's Hotline here in Wisconsin to have underground utilities marked. What we want people to do is call at least 3 working days before they begin their digging or excavation project...."

Wisconsin Public Service

More power lines are being buried across the Northwoods in an effort to increase reliability.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen says the System Modernization Reliability Project is a multi-year effort by the utility to increase reliability of the electrical distribution system in areas that experience the longest and most frequent outages....

Wisconsin Public Service

Mother Nature isn't helping as Wisconsin Public Service and other crews are working around the clock to restore power. WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen says the outages are extensive....

"...we've been able to restore service to more than 97,000 customers since the storms began at noon on Sunday. Our crews are continuing to work as they face extensive damage that includes numerous broken power poles several downed trees and downed wires...."

Wisconsin Public Service

Heavy rains, inches of new snow and melting of the winter's snow pack means outdoor enthusiasts need to be extra careful around northern Wisconsin hydro-electric facilities.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen says rising water can be trouble around the dams...


Wisconsin law doesn't allow utilities to disconnect customers from gas and electric service during the cold winter months. But the official date to end the moratorium is coming up and a utility official says it's a good time to make arrangements.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen says past due customers need to know about the end of the moratorium...

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The two utilities that serve the eastern half of Wisconsin say they want to freeze basic electric and natural gas rates through 2019.

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service have asked state regulators to consider their request. Utility spokesperson Matt Cullen outlines the proposal...

"...so in total, all WPS customers, all families, all businesses will have had their rates frozen for four consecutive years...."

Cullen says they will continue upgrading the system...

Flying Penquin

Since late Monday evening, Wisconsin Public Service has restored power to more than 81,000 customers.

WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen says they continue to bring in additional crews to restore power. He says if the severe winds subside, they expect to restore the majority of customers in the Minocqua, Rhinelander and Eagle River areas sometime on Friday. Eagle River has been the hardest hit area in the Northwoods.


Wisconsin Public Service says they, too, have been hit by the recent outbreak of scam calls to businesses.

WPS Spokesperson Matt Cullen says the target this time are businesses..

"....the person has told people that they have to make a payment or face disconnection or loss of power, sometimes within half an hour. We want to remind customers that is not how our company operates...."


The very cold temperatures of late gives those who ice fish or snowmobile a desire to head out, but Wisconsin Public Service is reminding the public there's still danger near dams.

Spokesperson Leah VanZile says ice near dams can be treacherous...

"..around the dam the ice can be thin, even around normal weather conditions, the ice near dams and reservoirs is often thin and inconsistent and unsafe. So if you are going to be doing any fishing or snowmobiling across those waterways, please avoid getting too close to the dams..."

Crews Fixing More Storm Damage In The Northwoods

Jul 22, 2016
Pete Rondello

Portions of northern Wisconsin werehit hard by storms last night and many WPS customers were without power in the Harshaw, Natural Lakes and Nokomis areas. As of 11:00am today(7/22) crews reported 30 broken poles, 26 of which were from Minocqua and Tomahawk. Poles can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to repair causing restoration delays.

Wisconsin Public Service

A long weekend without electricity is coming to an end for many Northwoods communities hit hard by a vicious Friday afternoon storm. At one point Friday, tens of thousands of customers were without power, but crews worked through the night to bring back the power.

Sunday morning, more than 8,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers mainly in Oneida and Vilas counties were still in the dark.


We're into the early part of the summer construction season, but a word of caution has been sent out from officials: careful where you dig or it could cost you big bucks.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Leah Van Zile says before you dig, call 8-1-1 to make sure you're not going to accidentally cut utility service...

"....there are many utilities buried underground, from electric and gas to water cable and fiber optics. It's really important(to call) as there are some dangerous cables under the ground...."


Wisconsin Public Service  is proposing a 8 percent increase in electric rates and a slight decrease in natural gas rates. In addition, WPS proposes an increase in the customer fixed charge.
Kerry Spees from WPS says the average electrical customer would see a $6.00 a month increase. But the customer fixed charge would go from $10 to 25. He says the cost of the electric grid system remains fixed at about $60 per customer,  but customers using less electricity aren't supporting their portion of the grid cost...