Following almost two weeks of storm work after Hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana, UtiliCon Solutions, Ltd. has mobilized its extensive resources from six of its companies to help assess damage, clear debris and reconstruct power lines damaged by Hurricane Ike and its remnants. These employees, from as far away as California, New York and Florida, are now assisting with utility restoration work on two major fronts where millions of electric customers were without power after the storm – one in Texas and the other in Ohio and Indiana.
The largest number of line personnel have been sent to CenterPoint Energy in the Houston area, but Entergy Texas has the largest number of UtiliCon employees involved since many were still assisting in the cleanup of Hurricane Gustav. UtiliCon resources were called in to Texas and Ohio for American Electric Power (AEP), as well as Duke Energy's Midwestern operations in Ohio and Indiana. Ike’s winds were still strong enough to cause significant outages up into central New York where Niagara Mohawk requested additional line crews to help restore power.
“We at UtiliCon understand the urgent need to help utilities restore power after a disaster of this magnitude. We know there will be many long hours and difficult conditions, but the safety and welfare of our employees is of the utmost importance, as well as the thousands of residents and business owners affected by this natural disaster,” said UtiliCon Company President George Graham. “Once again, the great cooperation we’ve received from our customers and the wonderful support of our employees and their families are enabling us to respond effectively to this catastrophe.”
UtiliCon has sent teams of safety supervisors to conduct daily safety briefings with employees and remind them of the hazards posed by broken trees, downed power lines and flooding. UtiliCon line crews and patrollers may be working in neighborhoods without the bare necessities of clean water and basic shelter. While reconstructing power lines is just one of the important steps in getting life back to normal for those devastated communities, safety has and will continue to be a major focus of UtiliCon’s response.