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Railroad netting knocks out power for nearly 450 in FD

Service was restored in about an hour Monday

Netting failure from a railroad bridge caused a power outage late Monday morning, affecting nearly 450 MidAmerican Energy customers through a wide swath of Fort Dodge.

MidAmerican Energy Co. said that 446 customers lost power at 11:35 a.m. after protective netting used to contain falling debris from a railroad bridge came loose, making contact with overhead lines near the intersection of 14th Street Southwest and 12th Avenue Southwest.

Crews removed the netting and restored service to all customers between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. Customers affected by the outage were located south of the 300 block of Haskell Street, north of the 1300 block of Avenue O, west of the 600 block of South 22nd Street and east of the 200 block of Central Avenue.

With extra safeguards in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the gas and electric company will continue to respond to emergency calls, outages and reports of gas leaks, downed power lines and broken poles. The company now limits non-emergency work requiring in-person contact with customers at residences and businesses and will take necessary precautions when they need to be inside properties.

Crews needing to service any particular location will now ask customers if anyone living there is under self-isolation for COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms. In homes where affected residents are living, work that cannot be postponed will continue with crews wearing personal protective equipment.

MidAmerican has temporarily suspended all disconnections for non-payment.

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