City Utilities Prepares for Upcoming Winter Weather

Published 02/28 2014 07:53PM

Updated 02/28 2014 07:55PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- We're expecting some nasty weather over the weekend and City Utilities took time today to prepare for the upcoming weather.

The forecast is calling for a mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow all over the viewing area.

Travel could be hazardous and utility companies are bracing to see what Mother Nature brings.

Part of what they're doing is routine maintenance, but they are working with the National Weather Service and their own crews to prepare for whatever may be in store for us this weekend.

On Friday, KOLR10’s Laurie Patton caught up with a crew from Wright Tree Service contracted with City Utilities out on W. Nichols clearing trees from lines. These crews are working for 10 feet of clearance on all sides of the line, 15 if they are dealing with higher voltage lines.

"The crew you see behind me is actually doing just regular day to day operations,” says City Utilities' Joel Alexander. “But, what we have available for this weekend is we've assembled our crew, we have several of our staff on standby most of our electric line departments, most of our tree trimming crews are on standby. We want to make sure that if this front turns out to be what it possibly could be we're ready to respond just as rapidly as we can."

Getting ready for a weekend like is one part preparation and one part concentration.

"We've been watching this weather pattern for the past several days it's just part of what we do to ensure that we have a response team ready to restore power,” says Alexander.

One thing easy to predict what these lines can and cannot do

“You rebuild as we did back in 2007 that has to be built to withstand a quarter to a half inch of ice,” says Alexander. “And all of our system is done that way. What you have to put on top of that is wind and wind can play a major role and can cause damage, even with a quarter inch of ice can start causing damage.”

With winter weather like this there's a lot of uncertainty.

"Right now we think we're ready just have to see what lands here," says Alexander.

Alexander says one more thing crews have to be ready for is to respond to other areas that may need help if they are hit worse than we are just as crews responded here in 2007.

If you experience power outages CU say it's important that you call and report the outage.

That number is 1-888-863-9001.

Alexander also says because of the extreme cold we have experienced this year people are struggling with their bills. Alexander asks that those customers contact City Utilities and work out a payment plan so that everyone can avoid a potential disconnection of services.

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