Region 8 Utility Companies Ready for Winter Weather

January 19, 2006 - Posted at 5:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-While thousands still sit without power across the MidWest, Region 8 utility companies say they are ready should winter weather hit the area.

"We are always ready to go 24/7. We've got plenty of inventory. Plenty of posts and transformers in stock in case of any disaster," said Monty William of Craighead Electric Cooperative.

He says they have crews helping in Missouri and Northwest Arkansas already, and know that same help is there for us if we should need it.

"Sometimes you are hit so hard you don't have enough man power to get it back up. So you call in your other friends around, and they will come in and help, just like we would help them. "

And both Craighead Electric and City Water and Light say the biggest culprit to power lines is not necessarily the ice itself.

"Ice on the power lines can weight them down and cause them to fall down, probably more often ice can get on tree limbs that falls into the lines and causes significant problems," said Kevan Inboden with City Water and Light.

Both utility companies tell me that it is preventative measures like trimming trees year round that make storm time a lot easier to manage.

And with more than 7-thousand miles of power lines between the city and Craighead Electric, anything that can be done now is a help in the long run.

"When we started the tree trimming program, we were able to see a tremendous decrease in the amount of problems resulting from ice storms and thunder storms," said Inboden.

But even year round maintenance, won't always stop mother nature.

"We have an emergency action plan. The guys know the weather is coming in and they will stick around pretty close. Most of them are ready to work any time. They love to get out and get it back on as quickly and safely as they can," said Williams.

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