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Dawson PPD lineworkers make repairs to broken utility poles after a tornado swept through the Johnson Lake, Nebraska, area on May 5, 2023.

When disaster strikes, it’s easy to feel helpless. But at Dawson PPD, customers know they can count on the District to respond quickly to safely restore their power and sense of security.

That was the case when a tornado tore through the Johnson Lake community the evening of May 5, leaving more than 1,000 customers without power.

The EF-1 tornado was on the ground for around eight minutes and traveled five miles across two counties. It touched down about four miles northwest of Johnson Lake. Three irrigation pivots were toppled over before the twister pummeled two large storage sheds on the northwest end of the lake. The tornado spun southeast across the lake before damaging three homes in a row. Roofs were torn off, vehicles damaged from falling tree limbs and a covered porch was blown apart. It finally lifted east of the lake by 11:00 p.m.

Dawson PPD crews were on the scene by midnight, working tirelessly to bring the power back on. About 25 employees worked together to replace 15 poles that were broken. Lineworkers dodged downed tree limbs and debris while inspecting damage in the dark.  

Thanks to the swift response of the Dawson PPD crews, most customers had their power restored by 6:00 p.m. the following day. But the work didn’t stop there. Crews continued to evaluate and make repairs to individual services throughout the weekend and into the following week, ensuring that every customer had their power back as quickly and safely as possible.

As the repairs went on, a customer went out of their way to show their appreciation for the hardworking crews by dropping off a cooler full of bottled water and pizzas. This act of kindness not only lifted the spirits of the hungry crews but also reinforced the mutual support and appreciation between Dawson PPD and their customers.

At Dawson PPD, it’s all about helping customers and providing them with safe, reliable and affordable electrical power they need to thrive, even in the face of adversity.

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