possible extended power outages due to incoming winter storms.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning and avalanche watch starting Thursday morning for the Sierra and Lake Tahoe areas citing that this weather pattern could be the biggest snowstorm of the season.
”Although we prepare for extreme weather impacts to our electric system, we remind customers that power outages may occur and we encourage them to be prepared,” said Travis Johnson, Liberty Utilities’ VP of Electric Operations.
Johnson also noted that storm-related power outages may be extended because of difficulties in identifying outage causes and crews being able to access infrastructure to make repairs.
According to Johnson, the 2017 winter storms resulted in a lot of broken poles and downed wire due to snow-heavy trees and branches that fell. Crews had difficulty seeing the broken poles, cross arms and downed wires amongst the trees due to heavy snowfall, and often couldn’t access areas because of avalanche warnings and/or unpassable roads. Crews often took snow cats or hiked into remote areas carrying wire and other equipment.
“We learned some lessons from the 2017 historic storm and have done things like stockpile more poles and wire, but if conditions make it impossible to get crews out to remote areas to identify and fix problems, customers may need to wait several hours for their power to be restored.”
Liberty Utilities offers the following advice if your power goes out:
- If the power goes off during cold weather, keep all doors closed to keep the heat inside. Have your family dress warmly and stay together in the same room or area. Even in very cold weather, the house will stay comfortable for several hours.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. The contents should be good for many hours if the door is kept closed.
- Turn off all appliances, including computers and peripherals, especially those that generate heat. This helps prevent hazards or damage when service is restored.
- Turn off all lights except one inside your home/business and one outside. The inside light lets you see and the outside light lets Liberty Utilities’ crews know when the power is back on.
- When power has been restored, please conserve electricity in the first hours to prevent further outages on your lines. Bring up the temperature in one room of the house or in one heating zone, if you have electric space heating. We ask that you not use electric stoves and clothes dryers in the first hour after restoration.
Liberty asks that customers go to www.libertyutilities.com to get the latest information available so phone lines can remain available for emergencies only. Customers should click on the Emergencies & Outages link at the top of the homepage, where they will be directed to a real time outage map as well any emergency messages regularly updated. Customers can also access Liberty’s Twitter account by clicking on the Twitter logo on that webpage, or visiting Twitter@LibertyUtil_CA. Liberty’s website and Twitter account is accessible on mobile devices.
“We want to thank our customers in advance for their preparation planning and patience as we prepare for the impacts of this major storm, Johnson added. “Above all, we want our customers to stay safe and NEVER go near or attempt to move a downed power line even if you believe it isn’t energized. Call 9-1-1 or Liberty Utilities if you believe such a situation is dangerous and we will respond as quickly as possible.”
This broken power pole during the 2017 winter storms is difficult to see given the heavy snow and tree coverage.
About Liberty Utilities
Fallen trees during the 2017 winter storms were responsible for many downed power lines and were time-intensive to remove and repair.
Liberty Utilities Co. owns and operates regulated water, wastewater, natural gas and electric transmission and distribution utilities in 12 states, delivering responsive and reliable essential services to approximately 783,000 customers across the United States. With a local approach to management, service and support, we deliver efficient, dependable services to meet the needs of our customers. Liberty Utilities provides a superior customer experience through walk-in customer centers, locally focused conservation and energy efficiency initiatives, and programs for businesses and residential customers. We measure our performance in terms of service reliability, an enjoyable customer experience, and an unwavering dedication to public and workplace safety. Liberty Utilities currently operates in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,
Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information, please visit www.LibertyUtilities.com.