Report an emergency
(Downed power line, natural gas leak, carbon monoxide alarm or other emergency)
Dial #2-5-5 from any U.S. Cellular® phone
For emergencies, please do not use an online form or send an email.
View electric outages
Assessing the situationEvery call helps our crews and operators. It helps us figure out how large the outage is and the cause of the outage.
Once an outage has been diagnosed, our Distribution Dispatch Center sends crews to repair any damaged equipment and get the power flowing again.
Alliant Energy and other utility companies follow a standard protocol for restoring power quickly and safely:
- Make sure police and fire departments and hospitals have power.
- Check generation facilities to determine if the original power source is still operating.
- Repair transmission lines that carry electricity from the generation stations to substations.
- Repair substations where high-voltage power from the transmission lines is reduced for home usage.
- Repair distribution lines that carry electricity from substations to each neighborhood.
- Repair the tap lines that serve anywhere from 20-300 homes and businesses.
- Reconnect lines to individual customers - this is the most difficult and time-consuming step in the restoration process.
When this process is complete, your home may still be without power. That means there is damage to your home's electrical system and a licensed electrician will be needed to complete the work.
Have you ever come home to find your digital clocks flashing "12:00"? It's caused by a power blink - a brief interruption that's designed to prevent a longer power outage.
Blinks occur when an obstruction, like a tree limb, comes into contact with a power line or transformer. To prevent damage to the utility system or your home, a circuit breaker interrupts the electricity for a fraction of a second.
If the limb remains on the line, the breaker opens and tries to close again. If the obstruction is still on the line after the third try, the breaker opens and does not close automatically.
At this point, a utility worker must be dispatched to remove the obstruction and manually reset the breaker.
Power blinks rarely cause damage to equipment. Older digital clocks and other devices are the most vulnerable to blinks; newer models are designed to ride out these small voltage fluctuations.
A power surge is a variation in electrical voltage. Power surges last less than 1/100th of a second and range in intensity depending on the situation.
Up to 80 percent of all power surges originate within the home - when devices with motors shut off or start up, diverting energy to and from other appliances. Common culprits of internal surges are power tools, refrigerators, printers and hair dryers. Smaller "everyday" surges can slowly destroy your expensive electric appliances - a process called "electronic rust."
External power surges are generally caused by uncontrollable events, such as lightning strikes, animals interfering with electrical equipment, and vehicle accidents with utility poles. Large power surges, such as lightning, can instantly ruin your TV, computer and other electronics.
Is Alliant Energy responsible for power surges?
Alliant Energy is responsible only for surges that occur due to negligence of our personnel. Most surges are caused by factors outside of the control of telephone, cable and electric utilities.
We are not responsible for surges caused by lightning, animals, tree limbs, faulty wiring or surges created within your home or beyond control of Alliant Energy.
How can I protect my home electronics from power surges?
The best way to prevent damage from power surges is to invest in high-quality surge protectors. All programmable appliances should be connected to a surge protector, including home entertainment systems, computer equipment and other digital devices.
Also remember that power surges can come into your home through other utility lines as well as electrical, so be sure to connect incoming cable and satellite TV lines, and all telephone lines, including fax and modem.