Huntsville Utilities: Minimal restoration by Monday evening

Published: Apr. 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2011 at 3:43 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - In a meeting with local distributors, TVA announced Sunday that service restoration is going to be slower than previously forecast.

Service will be restored in trickles each day as they attempt to match load with available generation.

To Huntsville Utilities customers this means that even though it is expected that restoration in some areas will be done in a timely manner after electric transmission from TVA is available, the restoration to the transmission is going to be done in phases.

At this time, Huntsville Utilities is expecting minimal restoration ability to begin Monday evening.

[Map of Madison County outage (PDF)]

TVA has over 4000 employees working on the restoration effort. Huntsville Utilities has over 450 utility employees, plus personnel from four outside (Lakeland & Lake Worth, FL; Pulaski, TN; & Tuskegee, AL) working on the local system.

On many transmission lines the damage was so extensive that the repair is like building from scratch, according to TVA COO Bill McCollum.

Some health and safety concerns:

City health officials have reported an increase in carbon monoxide poisonings reporting to local hospitals. This is due to improper ventilation. If you are running a generator, please place it where fumes will not enter the house through open doors and windows. If you are using a gas stove, please make sure windows are open to aid ventilation. Even gas hot water heaters, burning candles and smoking indoors can create carbon monoxide, so please provide adequate ventilation.

If you chose to use a generator during any power outage, please check the manufacturer's instructions for installation. If the generator is not properly installed, it can cause backfeed into the electric system … a life-threatening problem for utility workers.

If you have obvious utility damage, please call 256-535-1200 and report this information. By correcting as much visually detectable repair work as possible and addressing these issues prior to power availability from TVA, HU will be able to restore power more quickly.

If the damage is from the masthead down into the meter base and house, please call a licensed electrical contractor to schedule the repair.

The lines out from the house to the utility pole, transformer and beyond should be reported to Huntsville Utilities.

Huntsville Utilities Water supply is in very good condition due to the concentrated effort by customers to conserve water. HU requests customers continue conserving and using water wisely. If you are experiencing any problems with your water supply please call Customer Service at 256-535-1200.

Huntsville Utilities will continue to strive to keep the communities we serve informed. We are working diligently to make the restoration flow as quickly as possible once electric transmission is resumed.

In Huntsville, priority areas are being addressed as power becomes available. Huntsville Hospital Main is now receiving power.

More information on medical assistance and safety concerns will be forthcoming as it relates to power concerns and public safety.

Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved.