Brutal... the only word to describe this past month's outages.
Ever had a rough week at work? Well, we've had a rough month. Brutal.
It's been exhausting and frustrating, to say the least. We've had a lot of power outages. Too many. Most of the co-op's employees are members as well, and they have experienced the same power outages. None of us are happy or satisfied when these issues arise. The recent problems are not due to a lack of planning or maintenance. In fact, some of the areas that have been hit hardest are currently undergoing regular right-of-way maintenance as part of the aggressive 4-year ROW trimming cycle that co-op started a few years ago. The weather hasn't been our friend either as summer thunderstorms (June and July historically have the most power outages) have packed a harder punch than usual this year. In several cases, tall trees located outside of the right-of-way we maintain have fallen — either during storms or sometimes days later as a result of storm damage — and broken power lines. But we're not interested in excuses. We're focused on results. We have ramped up our right-of-way trimming efforts, putting more crews into the field to complete the scheduled maintenance and address "hot spots" where outages caused by trees and limbs are unusually high. Our engineering team uses computer-generated analytics data to discover patterns in power outages and areas that need may require a closer look for trimming or equipment maintenance. These projects to improve our system reliability are already being done (such as the recently completed voltage conversion in Center Hill) and more are scheduled. Through it all, our linemen have continued to answer the call, day and night, to get your lights back on as quickly as possible. Everyone who works at Cullman Electric knows that the cooperative is owned by the members. It's your co-op, and we have the honor and responsibility of maintaining it. You can be assured that we will never stop working to make it better.