Electric crews prepare for weekend of winter weather - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Electric crews prepare for weekend of winter weather

With rain, sleet, and snow in the Heartland, electric crews are prepared for the worst. With rain, sleet, and snow in the Heartland, electric crews are prepared for the worst.
SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -

With rain, sleet, and snow in the Heartland, electric crews are prepared for the worst.

Workers started getting ready for the winter storm earlier this week. Thursday morning employees at SEMO Electric Cooperative were reeling out extra wire, fueling up the trucks, and stocking up on extra transformers.

General Manager Sean Vanslyke said they have brought in crews from around the state and also had a truckload of additional supplies delivered.

"We have already made arrangements for crews from other parts of the state of Missouri to come and help us," Vanslyke said. "We already have hotels and meals and logistics worked out so they can focus on the job to get the power back on."

While crews outside will be working hard to restore power, workers inside the operations center play a role in getting crews to outages as quickly and safely as possible.

Chris Freed works inside the operations room at SEMO Electric Cooperative. He said they keep track of all the outages in the Heartland, make routes for crews to get to the outages and keep an eye on the radar.

Freed said calls from customers let them know where the outages are located. He said when calls start coming in, electric crews start going out.

"Anytime we have an outage in a zip code, that zip code will light up and tell us that we have an outage in that area," Freed said. "From that point, we will be able to pick up, go to an outage management system and see where it's at and take off from there."

Vanslyke is also reminding people to be safe during the winter storm. He asked people to give workers plenty of space when they see crews out working. Vanslyke said the biggest thing to remember is to stay away from down power lines.

"Keep their refrigerator doors closed and their freezer doors closed," Vanslyke said. "Most importantly, check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and then watch for the pets. As it gets cold, here there are a lot of animals out there that need to be watched for. So, when these storms, when these events happen, there is a lot more than just the power and electricity. Of course, electricity fuels a lot of our lives."

To view outages in your area, click the following links:

Ameren Missouri
Ameren Illinois
SEMO Electric Cooperative 

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