Thursday, February 7, 2008
Weather events cause power problems
By SUE WATSON
Strong winds Tuesday night last week caused problems over the Holly Springs Utility Department’s (HSUD’s) service area. Most outages were caused by falling limbs and cross arm breaks on utility poles, said John Collins, general manager of the utility.
Areas affected the worst included lines in the Lamar, Mt. Pleasant and Ashland areas along Highway 72, he said. The cross-arms were put back up around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday but more customer calls of single outages began coming in when families got up to no electricity, he said. By midday Wednesday, everything was back on.
Spotty outages occurred in Holly Springs. Collins said five crews were out fixing problems following the high winds event.
Then again overnight and in the early morning hours Thursday freezing rain caused more trouble in the Laws Hill area and in places south of Holly Springs when freezing rain swept across North Mississippi. Ice began accumulating on trees and undergrowth and utility crews worked that situation.
Collins said outages could have been worse but last summer crews trimmed right-of-ways under power lines. Since he joined the utility a routine effort to check undergrowth and overgrowth is in place, he said.
“That doesn’t help much with stuff outside our right-of-way and when whole trees fall,” he added.
HSUD is trying to improve the way calls are handled and the response at HSUD in the future, Collins said.
“We have discussed a way to set up a larger call center in the central office where customers can talk to a person or leave messages,” he said. “I expect that to be ready before the next weather event.”
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