KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority has pre-positioned line crews and helicopters in North Carolina to support restoration efforts following Hurricane Florence. TVA’s River Forecast Center is also managing the increased water flows that will impact the Tennessee River system from Florence’s rainfall.
“About 80 TVA transmission construction personnel are staged in Hickory, North Carolina, near Charlotte to support power restoration to customers in the Duke Energy service area,” said TVA Senior Manager Transmission Lines Bret Renfroe. “We can call on additional personnel to support restoration efforts if needed.”
Along with the transmission personnel are 60 trucks and construction equipment, two helicopters, pilots, mechanics and TVA Police support.
TVA has mutual assistance agreements with other utilities to provide skilled personnel and equipment support in response to severe weather or other significant events. TVA is also part of RESTORE, Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration, supporting other utilities in the Southeast. “When your power’s out, you don’t care whose logo is on the side of the utility truck,” said Renfroe. “You just want to hear that truck, because you know everything’s going to be okay.”
With Florence’s heavy rainfall, TVA’s river management team is working to reduce flood risks, according to James Everett, senior manager of TVA’s River Forecast Center. “We aggressively released water from the tributary reservoirs earlier in the week, even while the path of the storm and rainfall amounts were still quite uncertain. Now we are fine tuning releases heading into next week because we’re getting a clearer picture on just how much rainfall Florence is bringing.”
While flood control operations are happening across the Tennessee Valley, TVA advises everyone to use extreme caution if boating or swimming in the river, and to avoid being in the water near any dams spilling, sluicing or generating.
River and lake conditions will be updated on social media channels along with photos and video of transmission personnel working in North Carolina and TVA’s flood control efforts. TVA’s social media channels are listed below.
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