Electrical companies have a detailed restoration plans in the event of a tropical system to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Depending on the severity and projected path of the storm, the company lines up contract line crews from other utility companies in other states to approach our area and wait on standby.
Once the storm arrives, utility employees ride out the storm in safe locations. Once it passes and it is safe, then line crew teams go to work.
The first thing is to make sure the generating plants that produce the electricity are running. Next is the transmission lines that carry the power from the plants to the distribution substations. They are patrolled for any damage. The line crews are divided among the substations affected by the storm. A storm team is assigned to each substation, which uses feeder lines to supply power to homes and businesses.
The first thing a substation team does is send evaluators out to patrol the feeder lines. They assess the damage–whether it is poles, wires, transformers or other equipment — then report their findings to the team leader. That person then gives the information to the leaders of the line crews.
Crews then fan out along the feeders lines, making repairs. If the plant or transmission lines have suffered serious damage and power is still not available to the substations, crews can still make repairs so that when the power is available, the feeders will be ready.
Once repairs have been made and power is restored, crews then work on individual trouble tickets if a resident has a damaged meter. If the power in your neighborhood is restored, but you still don’t have power, contact your utility company.
Sometimes you might notice a nearby neighborhood has power, while yours does not. That likely means the other neighborhood is on a different feeder line and the level of damage might not be as great.