Earlier this month, four of our electric distribution crews responded to a request for mutual assistance from the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in Winterhaven, California. The Winterhaven area, in the Imperial Valley, experienced a thunderstorm that knocked out numerous power poles, leading to the mutual assistance request. While our crews were there, another storm occurred, knocking out more than 80 poles across a 2-mile stretch.
More than 30 of our employees were on site for six days to help with the pole change-outs and arrived home safely last week. Our crews successfully completed the mission with zero injuries or incidents, changing out 59 poles, setting three anchors, and installing 3.6 miles of wire. Our crews also assisted IID with additional storm clean-up efforts and damage assessment, as well as provided a mobile command trailer and set up a communications network for the teams.
“This mission is just another example of how our crews step up time and time again to not only ensure reliable service in San Diego County and southern Orange County, but throughout the entire southwest region of the United States,” said Darren Weim, director of electric regional operations. “I’m so proud of the collaboration and leadership we saw throughout the week. They were dealing with extreme heat and stormy weather and still completed the work efficiently and with zero safety incidents.”
These efforts are part of a mutual assistance program between utilities to assist with restoring power for customers after major events like wildfires and storms. Gas and electric companies impacted by a major event are able to increase the size of their workforce by borrowing restoration workers from other companies in unaffected areas.
Our teams are glad to step up and commit resources when needed to help ensure reliable service across the region.