City continuing repair on electrical infrastructure damaged by storm

Sandford more than 80 poles needed replacing adding due to the storm, and the city has had to reach out to neighboring communities and utilities to help provide materials and supplies after initial assessments.

“As we assessed the damage, the team started putting lists together of what was needed for both make-safe and future repairs,” Sandford says. “Using those lists of materials the different individuals worked on, what would be short and then reaching out to our partners in industry who all really stepped up and provided this abundance of material we just didn’t have access to this volume at one time. ”

Earlier last week Merrick Brown, director of emergency management with the city, told CHAT News While the storm wasn’t as strong as the one to hit the city five years ago, the damage is much more substantial.

“In 2017, the majority of the damage was actually what we call distribution lines, so smaller lines that are easier to fix,” Brown says. “The damage for this event would’ve been the transmission system, and those are much larger lines, carry the much heavier infrastructure, heavier electric load and so, being able to repair those is much more extensive.”

Over on Box Springs Road, line crews were present to re-string downed lines which connect two separate substations. A portion of fiber optic cable will also need to be reconnected in order to restore communications to one of the substations. Sandford describes the damage as “a twisted mess”, and estimates a fair amount of work is still needed to get the line up and running.

“This here is going to take a few days,” says Sandford. “Honestly, it depends on how everything else goes so. As- after the storm, we still have things like trees that were weakened, branches that were maybe broken, hung up, finally letting go, dropping.”

“Over the next couple of weeks, any major storm, regardless of its size, we wind up doing a lot of mop-up stuff. Plus, we have the individual customer challenges where the customer is faced with their own individual problem; the part of the service that they own is ripped down,” adds Sandford.

With round-the-clock work done by city crews, those in the community can rest easy knowing everything is being done to keep the lights on.

“The crews have been amazing. They have been working insane hours, and they’ve kept a really positive attitude, and a real can-do attitude. So I can’t express my thanks enough to these guys for what they’ve been doing to get stuff together.” Sandford says.

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