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DES MOINES, Iowa — The high winds expected to top 60 mph on Wednesday have local utility crews ready for the worst. MidAmerican Energy officials say they are not waiting to find out how bad the damage will be on Wednesday. They are already planning for 24-hour, around-the-clock coverage with line crews and tree service crews getting in place ahead of time.

“We are making sure crews all along that anticipated storm path are ready to go. Additionally, we are moving extra crews and equipment into areas where we can respond faster should the storm impact the system in those particular areas,” said MidAmerican Energy media relations manager Geoff Greenwood.

Greenwood says the advanced warnings from meteorologists have allowed the company to have a better idea of the path and potential strength of what is expected Wednesday afternoon and into the evening.

One added concern for line crews will be large trees that survived the derecho. Greenwood says those trees are still standing but could be unhealthy and are more likely to fall over or have large limbs collapse on overhead powerlines because of the damage they sustained in 2020.

Another point of concern will be making sure the public does not attempt to drive over or physically move downed powerlines. Greenwood said, “What’s really important in any storm, particularly something like this where there is a threat for overhead lines, if you see an overhead line, assume it is energized. Don’t touch it. Don’t go anywhere near it. Assume it is energized. Give us a call and we will come out as quickly as we can and restore service as quickly as possible.”

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