Jackson EMC on Alert During Frigid Winter Weather
(JEFFERSON, GA. Jan. 2, 2018) – The freezing temperatures that arrived with the new year caused scattered outages for some members across Jackson Electric Membership Corporation’s 10-county service area Tuesday morning. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are 10-15 degrees below average for much of the Southeast and are expected to remain low through the weekend. Jackson EMC remains on alert for distribution system issues that could result from the extremely cold temperatures expected over the next few days.
Jackson EMC has experienced scattered outages Tuesday morning throughout our 10-county service area, from a high of around 1,600 members out of service between 3-7 a.m. Approximately, 800 members remain without electricity at 9 a.m.
“Any piece of equipment may operate fine under normal use, but could have problems when stressed by high demand. We expect electrical demand to be very high during these extremely cold temperatures, which will stress our system and could cause some of our equipment to go out under overload. This same situation occurs in extremely cold weather as when the temperatures are extremely high,” said Jackson EMC Vice President of Engineering & Operations Joe Dorough.
These outages were mainly the result of equipment breakdowns in fuses and transformers due to the high electrical demand. Because demand is so high, Jackson EMC implemented its load management program on Tuesday from 6-11 a.m. for members participating in the program with connected water heaters. The load management program helps the cooperative control peak electrical demand by operating switches voluntarily installed on residential water heaters, which cycles them off for brief periods. Normally, the cooperative only implements load management on extremely hot summer days for part of the afternoon and early evening, but the blast of frigid winter air made this necessary to manage today’s high demand.
Jackson EMC prepared for the extreme weather by stocking trucks, prepping linemen and increasing staffing in its System Control Center, which monitors 226,000 meters across 13,900 miles of energized wire.
“We know that especially with these extreme temperatures our members are relying on us to keep them warm,” Dorough noted.
Jackson EMC members may report outages at outage.jacksonemc.com, or by calling 1-800-462-3691, and can track outages using the outage map in the Storm Center at www.jacksonemc.com.