PPL prepares for Hurricane Irene with additional contractors, employees

Source: PPL

PPL Electric Utilities is closely tracking forecasts for Hurricane Irene and is actively preparing for the storm’s potential impact on its service area in eastern and central Pennsylvania. 

About 150 employees and contractors from PPL’s utility operations in Kentucky are traveling to Pennsylvania to help with weekend storm cleanup. This marks the first time Kentucky employees have provided mutual assistance in Pennsylvania since PPL Corporation acquired Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities last year. 

“The track of the storm, and its potential effect on Pennsylvania, is not yet clear. But PPL Electric Utilities will be ready, no matter what Hurricane Irene brings,” said David G. DeCampli, PPL Electric Utilities’ president. “We are putting storm preparation plans in place, and taking steps so we’re in the best position to keep customers’ lights on and be as responsive as we can when trouble occurs." 

The company’s preparations are focused mainly on ensuring necessary staffing and maximum availability of field crews, system operators and customer service representatives. PPL Electric Utilities is also planning for equipment and materials, and coordinating with other utilities along the Eastern seaboard and local emergency management agencies. 

The Kentucky team consists of veteran line technicians, team leaders, safety specialists, and tree trimmers. Crews will replace or repair poles, towers, cross-arms, transformers, and other components of electrical infrastructure that could be damaged by Hurricane Irene. 

PPL Electric Utilities is also taking necessary steps to have as many of its own employees available as possible, particularly for Sunday (8/28). The utility is not releasing employee crews or contractors to assist other utilities until it has a clearer view of how the hurricane will affect its service area. 

Crews are working to finish scheduled maintenance, repair and upgrade work on the company’s transmission and distribution system by the end of today. 

Also, employees are checking to make sure the company has adequate reserves of poles, transformers and other supplies that could be needed in case of damaging weather conditions. 

Based on the most recent forecasts, PPL Electric Utilities anticipates weather conditions could result in power interruptions caused by fallen tree branches, downed power lines or other damaged utility equipment. 

Areas closer to the Atlantic coast, such as Delaware, New York, New Jersey and New England, are expected to be more severely affected, and utilities along the coast already are seeking assistance as part of their advance planning.

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