Power companies prepare for potential outages
NILES, Mich. --- Another round of wet, heavy snow and likely power outages are in Michiana’s forecast for the end of the week.
“When that heavy wet snow builds up like that, you start seeing tree limbs get weighed down into power lines, you start seeing some trees come down altogether,” says Michael Bianski, Communications Representative with Indiana Michigan Power.
When power companies like I&M and MEC see that type of snow in the forecast, they prepare in advance to avoid outages and have a quick restoration plan in place.
“We do have contract crews available if we are unable to manage the number of outages with our own crews,” says Customer Solutions Manager for Midwest Energy and Communications, Meghan Tarver.
“We go out systematically and try to keep the trees trimmed back from the lines to keep things safe,” explains Bianski. “So, when we have snow build up like this, it lessens that impact.”
They both say road conditions also play a role in causing outages and determining how long it takes to restore power grids.
“We do see a lot of upticks in instances of vehicles hitting poles in this kind of weather,” Bianski says.
“The roads, they took a while to clear last weekend,” Tarver recalls. “So that makes it a little more challenging to get to where we need to be.”
Like last week’s winter weather, crews will be out in full force to work until all power is restored for customers.
“Our restoration efforts started right away, and we worked until we were completely done,” reassures Tarver. “No one wants anyone to go without power.”
Both companies recommend having an emergency safety kit prepared with water, batteries, blankets, and anything else you’d need to prepare for some time without power in the cold. They also have outage maps where you can check on outages in your area:
Indiana Michigan Power Outage Map