Be cautious around restoration efforts

With winter’s notoriously volatile weather conditions, you never know when you’ll come across electric cooperative crews out on the roads repairing the lines and restoring power to you or your neighbors.

But stopping your car or truck on roads near where electric co-op service vehicles are is hazardous, especially when road conditions are already treacherous due to ice and snow. Though you may be tempted to question your co-op’s line workers about outages and check out what they are doing when you see them at work on the side of a road, Rick Coons, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives asks that you resist that urge.

“For safety’s sake, the best thing for you to do when you see crews working is to let them do their jobs, without distractions,” Coons said. “Line personnel wear protective gear and are equipped and trained to be on site to restore power. It is dangerous for others to be milling around when we’re repairing lines.”

That advice also pertains to owners of property on which co-op employees may be restoring power. “If we’re working somewhere on your land, you have a natural tendency to want to be out there with us to make sure things are going OK,” Coons said. “Believe me, we respect that and totally understand where you’re coming from. But speaking from experience, it is more difficult for us to get our work done when our focus is compromised.”

“Safety is always ‘job one’ for us — your safety and our safety,” Coons said. “Power restoration is a serious and dangerous process that is best handled without bystanders. That way, we can get the power back on as quickly — and safely — as possible.”

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