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After Storms Strike, CPU is Prepared to Restore Service Safely and Quickly

Proactive maintenance programs reduce outages and strengthen storm readiness

With winter around the corner, Clarksdale Public Utilities assures customers that preparing for ice storms and other major weather events is a year-round effort.

“Those of us who lived through the ‘94 ice storm will never forget it, including several CPU employees who were part of the service-restoration effort 25 years ago,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “We may not be able to control the weather, but we can control how well we are prepared to respond. Our goal is to restore our customers’ power as safely and quickly as possible and help our community get back on its feet.”

Most outages during ice storms happen when branches become weighted with ice and fall onto power lines. As part of its preventive maintenance program, CPU conducts routine tree trimming to protect lines and increase reliability — a proactive approach that has reduced service interruptions by 50 percent over the last year.

CPU maintains around 105 miles of distribution line and 24 miles of transmission line. Because most outages are weather-related, CPU conducts monthly line patrols as part of its inclement weather program. In addition to cutting back limbs from power lines, crews can pinpoint malfunctioning or outdated equipment and rotten poles and initiate repairs and replacements.

CPU will work with contractors and other utilities to augment its workforce when necessary and is part of the Coahoma County Emergency Management Plan. CPU maintains updated contact information for local and state authorities in the event of emergencies and stocks extra supplies and equipment to support repair efforts.

As always, CPU reminds customers to stay away from downed power lines and always practice situational awareness when working near power lines and electrical equipment.

“We always prepare the worst and hope for the best,” Boschert said. “As part of our Bright Future initiative, CPU is continuously looking for ways to improve our performance during normal operations and during storm response efforts. Keeping customers and crews safe is our top priority.”

Being proactive about storm preparation also is a smart strategy for customers. It is recommended that households keep one gallon of water per person per day to last at least three days for drinking and sanitation, as well as a three-day supply of non-perishable food. More tips about preparing for severe weather and staying safe during emergencies is available on the Coahoma County EMA website at http://www.coahomacounty.net/ema/.

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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For more than 120 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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