After almost a week of mobilizing over 1,300 additional tree and line repair workers from all across the U.S. to assist utilities primarily in Texas and Arkansas, Asplundh’s storm forces focused on completing power restoration services in the wake of back-to-back winter storms Cleon and Dion.
The snow, sleet and freezing rain from these storm systems brought limbs and trees down onto utility poles and roadways as they moved across the Southern Plains and into the Middle Atlantic region. More than 300,000 utility customers were without power from Dallas, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas as early as Friday, Dec. 6 and restoration work was hampered by slick roads and added precipitation from Storm Dion. The Arkansas utilities that requested crews experienced less damage than expected, so approximately 700 Asplundh tree workers were released, or reassigned to harder-hit Texas, over the weekend. Most of the mobilized tree crews were expected to be released to return home by Friday, Dec. 13.
An additional 60 line repair employees from Asplundh Construction and Utility Lines Construction Services (subsidiaries of Asplundh) were mobilized to assist utilities in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana in repairing storm-damaged power lines. Overall, Asplundh crews were mobilized from 12 different states to join with hundreds of local employees already working. Crews traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania and South Florida.
“In addition to our employees, I want to thank all of our utility customers who released our crews to work on this restoration effort. With so many mutual assistance utilities in the strike zone for these storms, we are especially grateful to various rural electric cooperatives and municipalities for their understanding and cooperation on releases,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott Asplundh. “I also appreciate the support of all the family members of our employees who were sent out on storm duty.”
Asplundh’s Storm Coordination Team in Willow Grove, PA will remain on duty in the company’s storm center to fulfill additional requests for crews and address logistics issues until all the deployed crews have been released and returned to their home locations.