Miner & Miner, a Telvent company, is collaborating with Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, in developing tools within ArcFM Redliner Extension to assist utilities with damage assessment and restoration planning after major storms.
Mississippi Power, headquartered in Gulfport, Mississippi, serves nearly 200,000 customers in the southeast region of the state. The utility has been a user of the ArcFM Solution since 2001 and is using its knowledge base of ArcFM and experience with damaging storms to share suggestions for enhancing the Redliner Extension.
In late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, causing vast damage and interrupting service to all of Mississippi Power’s customers. Initial estimates reported nearly 70% of the company’s 8000 miles of transmission and distribution lines required repair or rebuilding. To understand the full scope of the damage, utility employees had to manually mark up maps, creating a large geographic information system (GIS) backlog due to the staggering number of edits required.
During and after the storm, Mississippi Power’s distribution operations personnel envisioned the benefits of a GIS tool that could graphically identify damaged equipment including poles, transformers, fuses, wires, and other features, and also provide material summaries to the company’s warehouses in order to reduce operational delays. The resulting maps could then be used to follow up on work completion and ensure the collection of as-built data.
Miner & Miner met with Mississippi Power and other Southern Company employees to discuss how to optimize ArcFM Viewer for ArcGIS Engine with the Redliner Extension with this ability. Numerous major events like Katrina provided insights that will be helpful in creating useful applications. Currently, additional functional requirements are being determined and a timeline has been discussed for rolling out the tool in preparation for the 2006 hurricane season.
By building on the ArcFM Redliner Extension, Miner & Miner hopes to provide users the ability to access existing viewing and editing functionality in a small footprint application as well as employ case-specific procedures for storm assessment and restoration. Ideally, a wide variety of software users will be able to take advantage of the new functionality, including employees from distribution to finance to purchasing to media relations, creating better streamlined work processes and more efficient customer service.