Williston Electric Provider Getting Ready For Winter | VideoEvan Kruegel | 10/4/2012
"When ice and heavy snow build up, sometimes things just happen. But we`ve done everything we can going into the winter season to increase the integrity of our system and try to prevent catastrophic events,” said District Manager Ben Zachmeier.
The company contracted two separate pruning-crews, who spent the summer trimming branches away from power lines. The general goal is to have branches at least 15 feet away from transmission lines, allowing the limb to bend under the weight of the snow without touching the line.
"High moisture causes more weight. So if there`s branches with leaves on them depending on the time of the year, it will place more weight on those branches and they could come in contact with power lines,” said Zachmeier.
Having extra distance also allows space for the branch to fall if it breaks under the added weight. MDU has also replaced numerous aging poles throughout Williston and Watford city, and boosted the overall integrity of its system.
"We`re more prepared. Going forward, we`re still increasing our system, but we`re sitting in a lot better shape heading into this winter than we were a year ago."
When a major storm hits, power outages can still happen. But by preparing ahead of time, MDU hopes to avoid any major blackouts.