Power Crews To Ivan Aftermath

9-17-04 - About 80 volunteers from TXU Electric Delivery and 120 contractors are headed toward the Gulf Coast to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.

That's as power construction crews from Texas Electric Utility Construction in Sherman are re-directing from Florida to Alabama.

Volunteers are coming from the breadth of the service area to ensure support can be offered to people in need without adversely affecting reliability or service to TXU Electric Delivery customers, said Donna Smith, District Manager for TXU Electric Delivery.

"With the severe weather that has hit the Gulf Coast and the massive damage that has been caused to their electrical system, we are responding to the needs of the companies so they can help their customers," Donna said. “During the major June storm we experienced in North Texas, we benefited greatly when other companies allowed us to use their contractors and sent utility employees to help in restoration. We know there is a tremendous need for assistance during a major severe weather event, and this is how we can help.”

Crews originally had planned to go to Louisiana to help with restoration there, Donna said. But initial reports from the state indicate that damage is much less than was anticipated, and officials have deferred to other areas that have suffered much greater destruction. TXU Electric Delivery crews and about half of the contractors will work on rebuilding distribution lines along the coast. The other half of the contractors will be involved in vegetation management.

“These talented crew members have volunteered to hit the road and offer their help to people with great need,” Donna said. “We are very proud of our employees who consistently demonstrate their concern and compassion for those in need, and who are willing to take on the additional burden of traveling and working hard and safely under difficult circumstances to help their neighbors.”

The Southeastern U.S. has suffered great devastation during the past month in the aftermath of three major hurricanes. As a result, many electric companies are in need of additional support to restore electricity.

To help in that effort, TXU Electric Delivery previously released almost 800 contractors to help Floridians as they tried to recover from Hurricanes Frances and Charley.