Transmission construction crews from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are now on the ground in North Carolina. About 80 personnel are stationed in Hickory, North Carolina, along with construction equipment, two helicopters, pilots, mechanics and TVA police support.
TVA pre-positioned the crews to support power restoration to customers in the Duke Energy service area, says Bret Renfroe, senior manager transmission lines for TVA. He says TVA can call on additional personnel to support restoration efforts if needed.
TVA has mutual assistance agreements with other utilities to provide skilled personnel and equipment support in response to severe weather or other significant events. TVA is also part of the Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration, supporting other utilities in the Southeast.
“When your power’s out, you don’t care whose logo is on the side of the utility truck,” Renfroe says. “You just want to hear that truck, because you know everything’s going to be okay.”
TVA’s River Forecast Center is also managing the increased water flows that will impact the Tennessee River system from Florence’s rainfall. With Florence’s heavy rainfall, TVA’s river management team is working to reduce flood risks, according to James Everett, senior manager of TVA’s River Forecast Center.
“We aggressively released water from the tributary reservoirs earlier in the week, even while the path of the storm and rainfall amounts were still quite uncertain. Now we are fine tuning releases heading into next week because we’re getting a clearer picture on just how much rainfall Florence is bringing.”