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DRG Performs Storm Walkdown to Help Co-op Receive FEMA Funding

Beauregard Electric Co-op

After devastating damage caused by Hurricane Laura, Beauregard Electric Co-op needed up-to-date inventory data to receive FEMA funding assistance that would help repair their assets.

 

The Challenge

In August 2020, Hurricane Laura’s maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour and severe flooding caused devastating damage to the parish of Beauregard. The category 4 hurricane affected nearly all of Beauregard Electric Cooperative’s 43,000 members, leaving them without power for days until the system was repaired.

Davey Resource Group, Inc.’s (DRG’s) asset management team had previously performed an inventory on Beauregard Electric’s transmission and distribution lines. The hurricane’s damage caused significant changes to Beauregard Electric’s inventory data. The utility once again called upon their relationship with DRG to perform a quick-turnaround storm walk down, which was necessary to update their inventory data and become eligible for FEMA funding assistance for the repairs.

The Solution

Around 15 crew members performed the walk down using ATVs, vehicles, and boots-on-the-ground to collect data on more than 100,000 poles throughout the area. The crews looked for changes on the entire pole, from whether the pole was still standing to the condition of its attachments.

The walk down took around six months to complete, and the new inventory information was fed back into Beauregard Electric’s live system map.

The Results

The new inventory data acted as tangible evidence of the changes to Beauregard Electric’s transmission and distribution lines to prove they were eligible for FEMA funding assistance that would retroactively cover the cost of repairs.

Beauregard Electric was able to restore power for the majority of its members by September 30, 2020.

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