When a NIPSCO customer found a potentially dangerous situation in their back yard after a severe storm, Davey crews used their safety knowledge and teamwork to mitigate the danger.

The Challenge

A severe thunderstorm with straight-line winds at 30-40 miles per hour hit Bristol, Indiana, in mid-June, uprooting trees and breaking off tree limbs. As a result, approximately 25,000 Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) customers were out of power.

Because of an existing contract with NIPSCO, Davey responded quickly to help clear storm-damaged trees to help restore power.

One customer in particular was found in a shocking situation. A single-phase primary line was down after a tree fell on the primary and secondary lines, taking it out of service and leaving the customer without power. The fallen tree was hanging on a communication wire above a pool in a resident’s back yard. The tension from the tree on the line makes the wire act as a rubber band, snapping back wildly once the tension is released. Davey crews needed to remove the tree safely while staying out of the line of fire. Add to that concerns about high voltage electricity near water, and crews knew they needed to approach the removal with extra caution.

The Solution

Using ropes, chainsaws, and polesaws, Davey crews first removed the limbs over the pool until they got down to the final log leaning on the wire. Once crews were able to reach the final log, they safely distanced themselves and removed it slowly, applying principles learned during safety training.

The Results

After an hour and a half of work, the removal was a success without any incidents. By keeping in constant communication and adhering to Davey’s safe work practices, crews were able to remove the tree safely and help this customer avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

As for the rest of NIPSCO’s Bristol customers, Davey was able to finish cleanup and help restore power in five days.

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