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Power company works behind-the-scenes to prepare for snow

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Nov 08 2012 08:54:31 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 08 2012 11:22:30 PM CST

Caleb James reports.

SHELLEY, Idaho -

With winter weather in the wings, many folks are breaking out the heavy parkas or stocking up on firewood.

Just as you winterize your home, power companies are working behind-the-scenes to make sure eastern Idaho can keep the lights on this winter.

"You expect a lot of heavy snow, wind, ice, cars sliding off the road," said Glen Pond, Community and Customer manager for Rocky Mountain Power. 

Above all, said Pond, it's about keeping a close eye on power lines that will soon be covered in ice and snow.

"Rocky Mountain Power kind of prepares all year," said Pond. 

Pond said while winter may be only crossing the minds of eastern Idahoans, it's been on his for awhile.      

"Our tree-trimming is critical for us during the winter," he said. 

Some of the most important preventative mantainance happens throughout the year. Pond said keeping tree branches clear of the company's power-lines solves a lot of winter's problems before they're even problems.

"We'll patrol each circuit every 3 years and whatever growth is in the lines, we'll trim on a three-year cycle," he said. "Hopefully we keep on top of that and eliminate a lot of outages with that tree-trimming program."

There is always the possibility of snow and ice build-up on the lines. Every once in awhile an out-of-control car takes out a power pole. Pond said in case of an outage, power customers should be just as prepared as his linemen.

"We encourage them to have an emergency kit," he said. 

Pond said every winter preparedness kit should include: 

Batteries

Flashlights

Ready-to-eat foods

A can opener

Bottled water

A portable radio 

In case an outage does occur, Pond said his crews are ready. 

"We have crews in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. so we can call on any of those crews at any time to come in and help in any storm situation," he said. 

Rocky Mountain Power encourages customers to call and report outages.

The number is 1-877-508-5088. 

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