Thursday, February 5, 2009
Utilities send crews to other states
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Utility Department (HSUD) and Northcentral Electric Power Association in Byhalia have sent electric line crews to Kentucky and Arkansas to help companies restore power to the areas stricken by ice storms last week.
HSUD general manager John Collins said a crew of five men with three bucket trucks left Tuesday, Feb. 3, to work in the area around Mayfield, Ky., just across the line from Union City, Tenn.
Kenneth Feathers, Danny Rhea, Michael and Jimmy Howell and Earnest Campbell with HSUD electric line crews will help out for a minimum of one week under the mutual aid agreement HSUD has with the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA), Collins said.
TVPPA started requesting assistance from local power distributors across the valley over the weekend after icy weather moved into Arkansas and Kentucky January 26, he said. He talked to HSUD employees and got a crew ready for deployment. The group left Holly Springs around 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.
“David Smart, general manager, said it would take several weeks to restore power to the area (near Mayfield),” Collins said.
The utility serves 39,000 customers, he said.
“I’m glad we can send a crew because it helps us when we need help,” he Collins said. “The goal is to get the customers’ power back on and we (electric utilities) pull together to do that.”
Northcentral EPA sent a six-man crew and three pieces of equipment on Wednesday, Jan. 28, to the Fayetteville, Ark., area, according to general manager Kevin Doddridge.
“We were asked to go initially to the Mountain Home area,” Doddridge said. “But we had to get in the clear here first, which happened Wednesday, Jan. 28. Our first crew left Wednesday for Fayetteville’s Ozark Electric Power Association to stay a week. They come home Wednesday this week and will be replaced by another crew.”
Dodridge said Northcentral is planning for a two-week deployment at Fayetteville.
Power companies have prearranged mutual aid agreements with power associations in other states and are ready to act under mutual aid agreements as soon as it is requested.
Doddridge said Arkansas, Kentucky and north Tennessee all were struck by two days of ice last week.
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