The beginning of a new year is an exciting time to start fresh. Unfortunately, it’s also prime winter storm season, which means that outages are more likely to occur. As your trusted co-op, you can rest easy knowing that we have an emergency action plan in place that helps us restore power back to our members as quickly as possible.
Preparation Is Key
We prepare for winter storms long before the seasons change. The first step in helping to prevent outages is maintaining our equipment and performing right-of-way trimming so it’s less likely that trees will fall on our lines when a storm hits. This preparation helps lessen the impact of winter storms when they roll through our service area.
Taking Quick Action
When a strong winter storm does hit, we take immediate steps to bring power back to your homes and businesses by doing the following:
- Our line crews work with our dispatch center to identify the problem causing the outage. As our system reports outages, it helps us narrow in on the exact location, so we know where to send our line workers to start the recovery process.
- Once on the scene, our line workers identify how to restore power to the most members in the shortest period of time.
- Typically, they start by resolving issues at affected substations. Then, the crews remove fallen trees on distribution lines and replace poles where needed to restore power.
Powering Up After an Outage
A substation can serve hundreds or thousands of members. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself or if problems exist further down the line. When the power goes out, we expect it to be restored within a few hours. But when a major storm or natural disaster causes widespread damage, extended outages may result. Our line crews work long hours to restore service safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible.
Here’s what’s going on if you find yourself in the dark:
Relying on the Cooperative Spirit
In the case of severe winter storms, the damage may be too much for our crews to fix themselves. In that case, we rely on the mutual aid agreements we’ve formed with other electric cooperatives. In the face of a strong storm, line workers from unaffected electric co-ops will travel to our service area to lend a helping hand so we can restore power as quickly as possible.
When these co-ops experience their own times of need, we return the favor and help them restore power to their members as well. We’re all in this together with the same goal of putting our members first.