Rhinelander continues to clean up after storms leave many withou - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Rhinelander continues to clean up after storms leave many without power

RHINELANDER, WI (WAOW) - - Storms that rolled through central Wisconsin left broken trees and downed power lines. According to Wisconsin Public Service, there are still 11,000 customers in the badger state without power.

Rhinelander is one of the hardest hit areas, where outages affect more than 1,200 customers.

"We're still without power," said Shirley Heise, the principal of Nativity Catholic school.

The school lost power Thursday during classes. No power means the principal decided to cancel school Friday.

"Our meals are prepared at the south side which is the side without power," said Heise.

The wicked storms that passed through the Northwoods the past few days are to blame for the outages.

"The wind speeds that kicked up during the storm really caused a lot of damage with trees coming across power lines," said Leah VanZile, the Wisconsin Public Service community relations leader.

Wisconsin Public Service workers say a tree snapped in downtown Rhinelander, knocking down a number of lines.

"There are a number of businesses here we have the McDonald's out," said James Spychalski, the WPS lead line electrician.

The downtown Rhinelander McDonald's was powerless for more than 24 hours. But now, power is on.

"We have to have all the equipment powered up and working properly,” said Frieda Maertz, the McDonald's district manager. “We have to sanitize the coolers and everything go through and clean everything."

WPS workers are also doing the same thing.

"We're continuing to work back to this existing pole here, which is where we're going to connect everything back to, and then we'll be able to close some fuses on the other end,” said Spychalsk. “Take our grounds off and heat up the main part of the line."

So this Northwoods community can get back to normal.

Wisconsin Public Service representatives say most customers should have power restored by Friday evening. All should have their power back by Saturday morning.
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