A blackout in Pierre in 2009 was caused by a bull snake, not cold. 

The City of Pierre is warning residents to brace for a possible blackout Wednesday morning.

The city has been told by SPP (Southwest Power Pool) that it could order a blackout to deal with the heavy demand brought on by extreme cold.

If it happens, the blackout would last 30 to 90 minutes and no single property would be without electricity for more than an hour.

SPP oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in 17 states. The uncertainty of fluctuating demand across the central United States means suppliers won't know until morning whether a blackout is necessary.

"We may not get shut off, but the community members should prepare to be without power for up to an hour tomorrow morning," Pierre Utilities Director Brad Palmer said. He said the city will try to prevent impacts on schools, the hospital skilled nursing facilities and other critical infrastructure.

Residents are urged to conserve energy by delaying use of dishwashers, washers and dryers, turning down heat and shutting off lights.

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