Power crews in rural areas of Central Ohio prep for winter storm

The Energy Cooperative's crews prep for winter storm.

The Energy Cooperative is ready and waiting to restore electricity if this weekend's storm brings power outages to any of the 25,000 customers they serve in Central Ohio.

Crews at the Co-op’s service center in Utica are crews are getting ready for this weekend's storm. "Ice is our biggest enemy. It sticks to everything. Not just the power lines, but the trees the limbs," says crew leader Brian Jones.

Line crews are loading supplies into their trucks they might need in the worst case scenario. "Truck chains for the tires so we can get around in heavy snow and ice. Extra transformers. Gas for chainsaws. Stuff we don't use on a daily basis but that we might need in a storm," says Jones.

Inside the co-op's storm center, all is quiet today. Operations manager Forest Rose says they're monitoring the weather, making phone calls to material suppliers, and waiting for the snow to arrive. "We're going to have additional crews on call. We're going to have people standing by here at the office."

The Energy Co-op serves mostly rural areas in Knox and Licking counties. "Our system is 65 miles north to south and 35 miles east to west," says Rose. With 3,800 miles of power lines in that area, that means a lot of possible outages during winter storms. "It starts from the substation out. You have to get your biggest lines on first before you work your way farther and farther out to the rural areas," adds Jones.

Their best advice? Prepare yourself for the storm, and know that if the power goes out at your house, their crews are working as hard as they can to get it back on. "It can be frustrating when you lose power especially when it continues to get colder and colder outside. You just have to know that everybody's working hard," says Jones.

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