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PAGE 6 | NOVEMBER 2014


You’re not Alone in the Dark BY MEGHAAN EVANS, NRECA E


lectricity powers lives. It is depended on it for nearly everything. So TCEC understands how frustrating


it can be when you’re left in the dark.


Power outages are never convenient. It takes a lot of hands to keep the power on, and even more hands to get it up and running when an outage occurs. TCEC works hard to restore the electric service when outages occur, but there are necessary steps to take to ensure that power is restored to the majority of members as quickly, and safely, as possible.


After a major storm, TCEC line crews must identify which towers, poles and lines have incurred damage. Very rarely, but occasionally in the case of a major storm such as a hurricane or tornado, transmission towers can be damaged. If that is the case, tens of thousands of members could be affected. Repairing damage to transmission lines is top priority when it comes to restoring power.


High voltage transmission stations feed power to TCEC distribution substations. Tese substations serve thousands of members. If there is no damage done to transmission towers, the local distribution substations are checked first. If the issue is isolated and can be resolved at the substation level, great! Tat means thousands of people can get their power restored at once.


At times, the issue cannot be isolated to one distribution substation. If that is the case, TCEC crews inspect supply lines between the substations and the meters they serve. If the supply lines can be repaired, power can be restored to the towns and homes those lines serve, as long as there is no damage to the tap lines.


Tap lines carry power to the transformers located underground or connected to poles outside of homes and other buildings. TCEC line crews identify which damaged


IMAGE SOURCE: STOCK IMAGES


lines to work on first based on which lines will restore power to the greatest number of members.


Many times, the issue is resolved once the tap lines are repaired. However, occasionally a member could lose power and glance out the window to still see lights on at their neighbor’s house. When this happens, it generally means that the service line between one home and the nearby transformer has been damaged. If this happens, call TCEC right away so a line crew can get to work on the issue.


Power restoration can be a tricky business, so if you lose service in your home or neighborhood please remember the following:


n Stay clear of downed power lines. Contact with these lines could be life threatening.


n Report the outage to TCEC as soon as possible.


n Make sure to inform the cooperative if loss of power affects life support systems or could cause any additional threat to


health and safety.


TCEC appreciates its members’ patience and cooperation whenever an outage occurs. For more information on outages, stay connected with TCEC on Twitter and Facebook, or check our website at tcec.coop. n


Meghaan Evans writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.


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