RHINELANDER - You may have woken up in the dark this morning. That's because strong winds caused widespread power outages across the Northwoods.
Wisconsin Public Service estimates 2,500 customers are currently without power.
In this case with the wind that can be very damaging for lines because of all the tree branches, the dead tree limbs, or actually trees being uprooted coming over the lines and that could either cause a fuse to blow or it could actually take the line down or break a pole," says Leah Van Zile, Wisconsin Public Service Community Relations Leader.
During the storms peak WPS says more than 10,000 customers were affected by the outages. If you come across a downed power line you should call Wisconsin Public Service.
"That line could still be energized so please keep your distance, keep everybody away from that do not try and remove any tree branches or limbs off of power lines because it could be energized or become energized at any time," says Van Zile.
For real-time power outage updates you can visit www.wisconsinpublicservice.com
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change. "I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury. Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family. "Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi. Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born. "It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi.
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