MARQUETTE COUNTY — With the power having been restored to the communities of the U.P. we take a look at what some of individuals at UPPCO had to tackle while they worked through the storms.
The U.P. experienced two of the worst storms so far for this winter. It was also a busy week for Upper Peninsula Power Company who had crews working around the clock to restore power outages across the U.P.
“Well it is typically a utility response,” said Brett French, Vice President, and Business Development and Communications at UPPCO. “We watch the weather patterns well in advance. We were aware of the fact that Mother Nature might deal us a tough blow and that truly became the case.”
Over 12,000 UPPCO customers had experienced one or more power outages, of various durations, between Wednesday, November 27th and Tuesday, December 3rd. The event overall resulted in over 20% of UPPCO’s customers being without power.
“In advance of the storm we were requesting supplemental crews and resources to come into the area and assist,” explained French. “In fact they did do that and provided a lot of additional assistance to our staff and crews.
Even though the company was prepared for possible outages the amount of work and man hours were very high. Over 120 line technicians, field technicians, and contractors worked 16 plus hour shifts daily. That put UPPCO employees over 15,000 man hours through the catastrophic event.
“We had over 2,100 locations where crews were sent into the field to make repairs on equipment that was damaged by the weather pattern that came through,” said French.
With all of the hard work UPPCO is very happy with what they were able to accomplish, especially with the harsh winter conditions.
“A heartfelt thanks goes out to all of the crews, the contractors, the emergency management coordinators, the road commissions and countless others that stepped up to provide a lot of support and assistance during this winter storm event,” explained French. “We cannot thank them enough for everything they did.”
With power having been restored to the communities and UPPCO customers, UPPCO will be getting ready for a long U.P. winter and hopefully not as hectic as it already has been.