Southeast U.S. Utility
DRG crews have been on the Gulf Coast since August 2021 helping a Southeast U.S. utility restore its distribution system after Hurricane Ida devastation.
Hurricane Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, in late August 2021, bringing hazardous winds and heavy rainfall. The Category 4 storm had sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, causing severe damage to the communities in its wake.
A Louisiana-based utility company experienced severe damage across its service area of 58 parishes. To put the storm impacts into numbers, approximately 30,500 distribution poles, 6,000 transformers, 36,500 spans of distribution line, 500 transmission structures,225 substations, and 210 transmission lines were damaged or destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
After hearing about a successful post-storm walkthrough in Lake Charles, the utility called on Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) to help restore power to 10 parishes along the Gulf Coast.
Starting with a data assessment, DRG rode in vehicles along the rights-of-way (ROWs) to mark damaged poles on a paper map. Once the assessment was complete, crews worked on service tickets to rebuild lines, restore power, and check for damage. Both projects took a total of 30 days to complete with a focus on restoring electric power to customers impacted by the hurricane.
Once power was back on, the utility called on DRG again to perform an inspection in February 2022. DRG used FieldMaps, an ESRI software, to collect the latest information about the system in the service area, including new pole or conductor locations and removed poles. Crews also performed safety checks to ensure poles were up to the utility’s standards.
The utility wanted 355,279 poles to be inspected to update their system’s inventory data. To date, around 182,000 poles have been checked during the walkthrough so far. Approximately 1,465 poles have been flagged as new to the grid, while 10,695 poles have been removed. Another 1,883 have been marked as a safety concern that the utility will address.
DRG crews are expected to complete the walkthrough in October 2022.