Restoring Power After Hurricane Sandy

[kc_heading_two size=”24″ color=”#E01B28″]What does it take to replace just one utility pole?[/kc_heading_two]

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I was reading an article about the frustrations rising over lingering power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy. One resident said he saw utility trucks cruising past his house but never stopping. It reminded me of last year when my power was out for a week and I saw crews all over the place restoring power while my entire block remained dark.

At the time I would walk the neighborhood to see what was being repaired and trying to find out when my area would have power restored. I thought it might be a good time to share, once again, what it takes to replace just ONE electric pole that in this case had an important transformer on it. The video I put together last July shows why it took a full day and three crews, from out of the area, just to install a new pole.

*First a tree trimming company or the village has to clear away the downed trees after power is shut off for safety reasons.
*Then they have to send someone out to locate and mark buried utility lines
*Next, after the new pole arrives, the old one along with the remaining stump must be removed.
*Then transformers and lines must be carefully removed from the downed pole.
*It took a couple of crews with high-lift rigs to then slowly move the transformer and wires to the top of the new pole.
*Homes that may have had power lines yanked loose from their buildings as the poles fell, need to be reattached.
*Before service is turned back on they test the line to locate problems such as someone running a generator that would back-feed into the grid.
*After making sure everything appears to be ready, power is restored.

It took a full day, three or four big rigs, plenty of manpower, no lunch breaks, and a handful of happy & helpful homeowners before power was restored in my block. We were the last in the area to have our power restored and fortunately I had an older Kohler stand-by generator that is permanently hooked into my system. Even then, I only ran it a few times a day to keep food from spoiling although it was tempting to run it longer due to the hot weather.

Imagine how much more complicated and time consuming it is to repair an undergorund relay station or underground wiring like they have in New York City compared to one neighborhood utility pole with a transformer hanging on it? We have to understand what is involved and give the utility repair crews some slack since many are working almost round-the-clock with little rest or breaks. My neighbors and I kept bringing cold water and goodies out to the crew since we were all so happy to have them there finally fixing the problem.

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