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City Utilities Conducts Post Storm Assessment


City Utilities has contracted with a company out of Atlanta to look over its electric system following the January ice storm. Michele Skalicky reports.

NEARLY FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE ICE STORM HIT SPRINGFIELD, WORK IS STILL BEING DONE TO FIX THINGS THE STORM BROKE.

SOUND—DRILL

CITY UTILITIES HAS CONTRACTED WITH OSMOSE UTILITIES SERVICES, INC., BASED IN ATLANTA TO CONDUCT A COMPREHENSIVE POST-ICE STORM ASSESSMENT OF SPRINGFIELD'S ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM.

SOUND—HAMMER

DAVE LAPLANTE, SALES DIRECTOR FOR OSMOSE, SAYS THEY'LL EVALUATE THE OVERHEAD CONDITION OF THE UTILITY POLES AS WELL AS THE CONDITION AT THE GROUND LINE AREA OF THE POLES.

CU MAINTAINS 1,951 MILES OF ELECTRIC LINES AND USES 80,000 UTILITY POLES TO DISTRIBUTE POWER TO ITS CUSTOMERS. THAT MAKES FOR A LOT OF WORK FOR OSMOSE CREWS WHO STARTED WORK THIS WEEK. THEY'LL LIKELY WRAP UP THEIR WORK BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER. DAVE LAPLANTE SAYS THEY'LL BE LOOKING FOR ANY DEFECTS ASSOCIATION WITH THE JANUARY ICE STORM.

LAPLANTE SAYS CU HAD TO WORK QUICKLY TO RESTORE POWER IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING THE ICE STORM, AND THEY WANT TO BE SURE THE WORK WAS DONE CORRECTLY.

OSMOSE WILL PRESENT A REPORT TO CU AT THE END OF THEIR EVALUATION. ANY STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS, THOUGH, WILL BE ADDRESSED SOON AFTER THEY'RE IDENTIFIED.

IN ADDITION TO WORKING ON STREET AND HIGHWAY RIGHT-OF-WAYS, WORKERS WILL NEED TO ACCESS CU CUSTOMERS' BACK AND SIDE YARD UTILITY EASEMENTS TO DO THEIR WORK. THEY'LL CARRY IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIALS AND WILL WEAR GREEN SAFETY VESTS IDENTIFYING THEM AS OSMOSE WORKERS.

OSMOSE HAS EXPERIENCE IN EVALUATING ELECTRIC SYSTEMS AFTER A STORM—THEY SENT OUT MORE THAN 300 WORKERS TO MISSISSIPPI AND LOUISIANA FOLLOWING HURRICANE KATRINA.