Milwaukee food pantry power outage causes concern

A Milwaukee food pantry was without electricity to keep refrigerators running Wednesday, Aug. 11 – something familiar to thousands of area homeowners, too.

After severe storms Tuesday night, more than 50,000 We Energies customers remained without power in Milwaukee County come nightfall Wednesday.

Billie Burton manages the Helping Community Food Pantry at Solomon Community Temple. The lack of power on Wednesday threatened to compromise Thursday's food bank.

"I’m afraid that we could lose all of it," Burton said. "I am very concerned that this is happening at a time that is really critical to this community."

A place that helps so many looked for help itself, the pantry not in need of food but help to keep it cool.

"If you have a generator, please let me know," Burton said.

Solomon Community Temple

The church received two generators Wednesday night and said the pantry will open from 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12.

Anyone who can help should contact the church.

North Shore power outage

A drive around Milwaukee County's North Shore yielded tons of downed trees – including one uprooted in School House Park. Some of those trees caused a lot more damage, taking out power along the way.

"It’s still kind of fun for the first day. It’s going to get a little less fun as it goes on," said Andy Tarnoff. "People have it a whole lot worse than I do; it’s hot, but it’s ok for now."

For more than 24 hours, Tarnoff braced the heat in a candlelit Bayside home. The OnMilwaukee founder has been working from home, taking breaks with family to beat the Wednesday heat.

"I’m fortunate that I can go to my parents’ house, charge up my phone and sit in the air conditioning for a while," Tarnoff said. "I think this really shows how fragile our power grid is."

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We Energies crews are working to restore power. For current outage information, visit the We Energies outage map.

We Energies strongly urges customers to stay at least 25 feet away from any downed power lines and report the situation to We Energies or a local law enforcement agency immediately.

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We Energies crews spent the day Wednesday, Aug. 11 working to restore power after strong storms and high winds caused extensive damage across Wisconsin Tuesday night. The company's president said it's the largest power restoration effort in company history.

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