When the power goes out, every minute can feel like an hour. Especially if your home is getting warmer by the second.
We understand that feeling, and we know you’re depending on us to get power restored so you can get back to your normal life. So, we try to treat every outage as urgent and get those lights back on as quickly as we safely can. But there are factors that affect the process, and we hope understanding them will make it easier for you to hang in there with us.
When the “blowing” gets tough, we get going. However, weather conditions can impact how we’re able to respond to outages. When wind speeds exceed 30 miles per hour, safety regulations prevent us from using the aerial lifts on our bucket trucks. And if significant lightning, flooding or icy conditions are present, we also have to make careful decisions about being out. This is for our safety and yours, because an accident involving a bucket truck won’t just impact us.
Tackling the root of the problem
The extent of the damage is another factor that determines how quickly we’re able to restore power. To put it simply, a blown fuse or an open cutout is easier to fix than a broken pole. And unfortunately, broken poles are becoming one of the most common causes of outages due to increases in distracted driving. (Note: keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. We’re having to replace poles almost weekly due to vehicle collisions.)
It’s a process
As we always try to remind you, outage restoration is a process designed for maximum efficiency. We start by addressing the biggest problems first, because fixing the smallest problems won’t have much of an effect otherwise. For this reason, you might not see us at your front door right after your power goes out. We may have two or three other issues that need to be resolved miles away before we can begin working on outages at individual locations.
All hands on deck
Manpower can also play into how quickly we’re able to restore power. When we’re facing a widespread outage situation, like what occurred after Hurricane Sally, the number of broken poles, cross arms and lines can exceed the number of linemen Baldwin EMC has. So, we call in reinforcements. Sometimes that backup has to drive many miles to reach us. But once the cavalry does arrive, they get right to work.
Overhead or underground
The final factor that can affect power restoration times is whether we’re dealing with underground or overhead lines. While underground lines aren’t subject to as many outage-causing factors like trees, when they do have an issue, identifying and repairing them can take longer because faults aren’t out in the open.
Regardless of the circumstances that dictate how long repairs might take, no outage gets ignored. No matter the weather conditions, no matter the traffic or anything else, that remains true.