NAVASOTA, Texas Hurricane season is less than two weeks away. Utility and electric companies have been planning for the tropical season for the past few months.
While the Brazos Valley is far removed from the coast, hurricanes can still reach the area.
Tracy Weaver, with Mid-South Synergy, is the Safety Coordinator tasked with keeping crews safe on the job. That includes when storms push through the area and during the clean up period after.
Weaver says when it comes to power being knocked off-line, due to storms, it is typically caused by "high winds that could break poles and knock lines off insulators, dead trees falling because of recent drought, and lightning that is attracted by power lines."
While they are proactive in trying to clear trees in "right of ways" -- areas near electric lines -- it is those aspects of the weather that are unpredictable. However, "If the hurricane is out there, its not just going to jump up. With a hurricane out in the Gulf, [Mid-South] will have a few days to be prepared."
That's where Kevin Diehl comes in as System Operations Manager. He says that Mid-South Synergy has a "three day out, two day out, and one day out" plan when it comes to tropical systems crossing a line from the tip of Florida to the Yucatan Peninsula. More simply put, they go into action once a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
Even though plans are in place, they don't have to be used every year. That said, the best of those plans get put to the test from time-to-time.
Even with a low number of storms forecast to form this year, past storms remain fresh in Diehl's mind. In 2008, Hurricane Ike knocked out power to the Montgomery area for six to seven days.
While that may seem like a long time for Mid-South Synergy customers, Diehl added that his parents, in Houston, were with out power for three weeks.
Hurricane preparations are formed at a round table in May of each year for Mid-South Synergy. Until then, Spring storms are keeping crews on their feet. Weaver adds, "when the light's go out, that's when crews shine. That's when they really do what they need to do."
Should your power go out, both Diehl and Weaver add that you can check the progress of the situation through their Website outage map and social media accounts.