Power companies prep for ice

Before you even make the call, Flint Energies Line Crew is at command monitoring the 17 counties they cover.

They have more than 100 people working around the clock, extra replacement wires in case of snapped lines, and a whole bunch of tools to do the work. There's also staff to answer questions especially when it comes to downed lines.

"You never know just by looking at one whether it's energized or not, so our best advice is to stay far away and call 911 immediately," said Marian McLemore, the company's manager of public relations.

From there, they're on the way to their customers, where it's all about getting to the root of the problem.

"It's really just locating the fault's the hardest part of it, then making the repairs and splicing the wires," said Jim Wright, a line maintenance technician with Flint.

It's something Flint is ready to do a lot of this week, with what even veteran workers are calling a tough season.

"This winter has seemed to be a little bit more intense than most winters, but it's cyclical," she said. "Some winters are pretty mild, but every so many years we do have a rough patch and I believe we're going through that."

But McLemore insists there's no reason to be overly concerned because power companies are equipped to handle the severe weather.

"Every Flint employee is on standby, and we're just doing our normal job. We're used to this. We've done this for over 75 years and we do it every single day," she said.


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