Cold Weather Causes Massive Power Outage - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Cold Weather Causes Massive Power Outage

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Sometimes there's nothing better than curling up on the couch next to a warm heater. That is until the power goes out.

This is just what almost 1000 Dixie Electric Power Company members experienced during the night.

"I woke up around 4:00 this morning, and the power was out, and being around 15 degrees, it's not a comfortable way of waking up," East Jones County resident Jody Cooley said.

Lydia Walters from Dixie Electric explains that heat pumps run through power lines to heat homes.  When they have to run more to fight the cold, they use additional heat strips, which pulls more electric load.

"That heavy load causes power outages," Walters said.

This is just what happened late Monday night and early Tuesday morning to about 685 members in Jones county and 300 in West Wayne County.

"We had all of our service men on call," Walters said. "They responded really quickly and they were working and braving those cold temperatures to get the power back on."

"I want to thank the men and women of the power company out there diligently working in this cold weather," Cooley said.  "I know it was hard and rough, but thanks."

It was restored in less than an hour in most places.

As temperatures are expected to remain low, Walters asks members to help keep the power on by lowering their thermostats.

"We normally recommend 68 in the winter, but if they could set them around 65, that would help the system cycle off. It would help the heat strip not run as long," Walters said.

She reminded residents to be prepared just in case.

"You certainly want to layer in clothes," Walters said.  "Layer with blankets. Keep your head warm, keep your hands and your feet warm."

Keep plenty of batteries so that you can use flashlights instead of candles for safety. 

 

Severe Weather Supply Kit - Via:  Dixie Electric Power Co.

Water - at least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days

Food - enough for each person for three to seven days

Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices

Food for infants or the elderly

Non-electric can opener

Cooking tools/fuel

Paper plates/plastic utensils

Blankets/pillows

Clothing - rain gear, mittens, earmuffs, etc.

First aid kit complete with prescription drugs

Flashlight/batteries

Radio

Toiletries

Cash - Bank ATMs may not be open

Keys

Important documents - including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security cards, etc.  Make sure these items are stored in a water proof container

Tools

Full tank of gas in vehicles

Toys, books and games 

 Generator Safety Tips - Via: Dixie Electric Power Co.

Use your portable generator outside to avoid dangerous exhaust flames.

Purchase your portable electric generator from an established dealer who can provide service and maintenance if needed.

Do not operate your generator while standing in wet conditions.  This could cause an electrical shock to anyone who comes in contact.

Only connect appliances directly to a portable generator.  Do not connect the generator directly to the wiring system in your home or other building through outlets or your meter.  This may damage your wiring system or back feed electricity endangering utility workers restoring your line.

Do not attempt to fill the generator's fuel tank while it is operating as the gasoline may ignite.

Do not tamper with the engine speed adjustment. 

Have a charged fire extinguisher nearby as a precaution.

Cold weather preparedness tips - Via: National Weather Service

In the Car:

Fully check and winterize your vehicle before starting your travel.  Make sure your car battery has enough power and your car is filled with antifreeze.

Keep your gas tank near full to prevent ice from forming in fuel lines.

If you are planning travel, carry a winter storm survival kit including blankets, flashlights, high-calorie snack foods, jumper cables, a water container and fully charged cell phone.

At Home:

Let your faucets drip to prevent freezing water from causing pipes to burst.

Make sure your pipes are properly insulated and leave cabinet doors open around pipes to ensure they receive warmth from the air flowing through your home.

Protect outdoor plants.

Provide shelter for pets and check on elderly.

Have a flashlight and extra batteries available.  Avoid using candles since they can become a fire hazard.

If you have a fireplace or wood stove, make sure you have a good supply of firewood.  Learn to use any emergency heating sources properly to prevent a fire.

Close off unneeded rooms and place towels or rags in cracks under the doors.

Clothes:

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers.  This is more effective in creating insulation for your body.

Wear a hat.  Nearly half of your body heat loss is from the top of your head.

Wear gloves or mittens.

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