Alliant Energy crews prep for winter storm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alliant Energy crews prep for winter storm


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - As we prepare to deal with inches of snow, area power companies will be making sure that miles of power lines keep electricity going to customers' homes.

"We start our planning several days in advance for an event like this," said Kent Sodawasser, Senior Manager of Customer Operations at Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids.

The garage at Alliant's metro-area building was bracing for a winter storm Monday evening. Snow or not, Sodawasser was making sure line workers were ready.

"Clothing is a big part of it, because we could be out in the middle of extended, extreme weather conditions."

Many of their trucks have 4-wheel drive, so there's no need for tire chains. Drivers were filling them with fluids and packing them with parts, so they have everything they need. Sodawasser says snow isn't the only thing Alliant will be watching for over the next couple days.

"The combination of wind, with the weight of snow and ice that accumulate on lines."

Meanwhile, Jack Marovetz was getting ready to field calls from customers in a local dispatch center. From here, he'll monitor the progression of the storm and Alliant crews, using computer screens and blown-up maps of the city.

"On the maps here, we start identifying the power outages that we have and our crews, and where they're at," said Marovetz. "When they finish one job, then we'll move them to the next job."

Alliant says depending on a storm's severity, they may enlist the help of local contractors, or even out-of-state power companies. If your neighborhood experiences an outage, don't assume your neighbor has reported it, and be sure to call it in.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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