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LCEC in restoration mode

By Staff | Sep 11, 2017

LCEC has begun restoration after Hurricane Irma and is following post-storm protocol.

“Please keep in mind that immediately after a severe storm, information is limited until the damage has been assessed,” the co-op states in a prepared statement posted to its website.”We will provide more information as we begin to make repairs. We recommend that you prepare to be out of power for up to a week, in some areas that were impacted severely it could take several weeks. We ask that you remain patient and rest assured that we will work hard, as quickly and safely as we can, until every customer is restored. We have crews from out-of-state assisting and more are on the way!”

What has LCEC done to prepare?

LCEC is in full storm mode and is in the process of bringing in out of state lineman contractors to complement our crews. We also have a contract with a fuel vendor which will ensure we are fueled up and ready to go. There are widespread outages throughout our service territory. Our linemen are prepared to work around the clock until the power is restored. In addition, LCEC’s 400+ employees play a critical role in the restoration plan. That being said, LCEC is well prepared to handle the storm.

How does LCEC restore power after a storm?

After a storm has passed, LCEC quickly begins to assess the damage to the electric system.

LCEC then begins restoring power to essential services such as hospitals, traffic signals, shelters, communication centers and law enforcement.

Next, power is restored to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time by repairing main circuits. Then feeders will be repaired to power up neighborhoods.

Finally, individual services or services and services that need to be reconnected after repair to the customer’s damaged electrical system are restored.

What if my neighbor has power but I don’t?

You may be on a different feeder line, or a different transformer may serve your location.

The transformer serving your location may be damaged. These are the last system devices to be repaired because resources are focused on restoring the greatest number of customers first.

Your weatherhead conduit (the pipe and wire extending above your roof) may be damaged or bent. If so, you must have an electrician repair it and have an inspection before power can be restored.

If you own your own underground service, it may be damaged, which is usually caused by tree roots. If so, you must have it repaired by an electrician and inspected before power can be restored.

Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home. Utility transformers can then “step-up” or increase this back feed to thousands of volts-enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs a long way from your house. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator.

The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. The transfer switch transfers power from the utility power lines to the power coming from your generator.

Never plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging a generator into a regular household outlet can energize “dead” power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers. Connect individual appliances that have their outdoor-rated power cords directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator with the appropriate outdoor-rated power cord having a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.

Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.

Source: LCEC