Power Out? Check the Mast and Meter Box

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LANSING (WILX)-- The Lansing Board of Water and Light says it hopes to have the power back on by midnight Tuesday. As of 4:30 pm, 400 customers are in the dark.

But that figure doesn't include "single service requests." Hundreds of customers need electrical contractors to re-attach masts before the BWL can bring the power back on.

The work has electricians in high demand.

"It's been non stop, the phones don't stop ringing," said Joe Dalessandro, Sr. Project Manager for FD Hayes Electric Company.

Dalessandro says they've been able to fix an average of 30 masts and meter boxes a day. Many homes had their electrical equipment ripped off during last Saturdays ice storm.

"I've never seen anything close to this bad," said Dalessandro.

BWL utility crews aren't required to fix the broken masts or meter boxes. Anything on the home has always been the customers responsibility, but many customers don't know it. Home owners should be hiring an electrical contractor to fix what's broken.

"I didn't know at first. I assumed BWL would fix both lines that had come down," said Paula Rollins.

Rollins is taking care of her neighbors home and had their mast repaired for them after the street power came back on.

Rollins neighbors mast was clearly broken. The pipe was completely torn down, but it's not always easy to see, says Dalessandro.

"The easiest way to know if you have an isolated problems is if everybody around you as power on and you don't," said Dalessandro.

This time BWL is making exceptions. 10 crews have been assigned to fix the single service requests, but hiring a electrician will likely get it done faster.

"It's usually easy, getting to them is the biggest problem."

A relatively quick fix, but not without a price.

"It can cost anywhere between $300 to $1,000 dollars, but most repairs have been staying under $500."

Getting a mast or meter repaired doesn't guarantee power will be restored immediately. In many instances, BWL has to come back after an electrician has finished to make the wire live.

BWL is supplying parts for customers and electricians who are trying to restore power. The kits are at their meter department, 1140 South Pennsylvania.
The department is open from 7am to 6pm Wednesday.

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