Hurricane Laura spurs utilities into a special kind of action. That action spans much of the nation, not just the impact zone. That is because utilities work together to meet emergencies head-on to restore power.
Mutual aid is the term in the industry. The utilities work with the Edison Electric Institute to coordinate the response, along with organizations such as CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Administration and state emergency organizations.
The utility Entergy serves much of the area the hurricane will hit – Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and has nearly 7,400 workers itself prepared to respond to Hurricane Laura. (Source) Southern Company will feel storm impacts in Mississippi and likely Alabama, too.
“Electric companies in Laura’s path are mobilized and ready. They have activated their emergency response plans and the industry’s mutual assistance network, are staging equipment, and are coordinating preparation and response efforts with federal, state, and local officials,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.
This map from EEI shows the states that have utilities that are responding to Laura with crews.
There is a line-worker spirit that takes over in emergencies. One of the people on the front lines said, “While many run from hurricanes, there are some who go towards them. That’s one of the great things of being a lineman. You get to give people what they love the most, electricity. I’m glad we get to do it.” (Source)
Feature image from NOAA satellite, Wednesday, 8/26, early evening.