20 Apr 2020
Posted in Coronavirus
US storm response of southeast utilities applaudable amid COVID-19 pandemic
A series of storms hit the south and the southeastern areas of the US at the beginning of Easter Sunday and continued on to 14 April, when a reported 1.2 million customer outages took place. Distribution utilities took precautions to prepare for the storms, and, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, these utilities have done everything in their power to protect workers and ensure safe working conditions as they catered to the disruption caused by the storm, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Somik Das, Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments:“Renowned utility Entergy assessed the damage in its service territory and believes that repair work could take up to three days. Restoration might be slowed by safety precautions instilled to protect its workers. In North and South Carolina, another utility, Duke Energy has its crew working on restoring power to more than 325,000 customers. The utility recorded more than 6,000 outage events where the equipment would need repairing.”
As part of the pandemic protocol, utilities are asking the public to avoid approaching crews on the field during restoration works and adhere to social distancing measures. Customers are requested to avoid interaction with the restoration crew. In case it is necessary to interact, workers are advised by utilities to maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.”
Utilities have advised customers to adhere to quarantine orders as much as possible to help the crews avoid distraction by supporting social distancing guidelines as they work. If it is necessary to leave home, customers should move over or slow down if they see utility crews working along roads.
Das added: “In times of the pandemic, utility workers have shown their brilliance and kindness by working tirelessly to make up for the damage caused to the grid by the storm. This attitude reflects the fact that the nation would surely work its way out of the pandemic on a positive note.”