June marks the opening of the Atlantic hurricane season, as T&D World looks back on 10 years of utility crews bringing back the light. The Atlantic has had some of the most active and damaging seasons in the past decade, with 2004 and 2005 keeping utility crews especially busy with restoration. In 2004 alone, four hurricanes moved ashore, as the U.S. Southern coast braced for the worst more than once.
In 2005, the third most devastating hurricane in history hit the Gulf Coast. The name Katrina brings back memories of overrun dikes, serious flooding, death, and evacuees on foot.
Things were quiet in 2006 and 2007, then Ike hit Texas in 2008. Property damage from Ike is estimated at US$19.3 billion. Additionally, as an extratropical system over the Ohio valley, Ike was directly or indirectly responsible for 28 deaths and more than $1 billion in property damage. (NOAA)
In our most recent memory and probably the storm that caused the most attention to the electric infrastructure was Superstorm Sandy. In 2012, Sandy roared up the East Coast and ended up as the second-costliest hurricane in United States history.
After each and every storm, the utility industry responded with force. Local utilities worked around the clock to bring the power back, and with it, hope for the future again. Utilities from across North America came to their assistance, sending their own crews hundreds of miles to battle the elements and broken poles and lines.