Sandy – An unprecedented challenge for local government
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We will be raising pad mount transformers that were compromised in the flood zone. This project is in engineering and is expected to begin in the spring. This project is also funded through a mitigation grant from FEMA.
We are also looking into ways to improve our customer call centers and the best way to build redundancy into our village-wide communications.
The key is good communication
Like every other utility, we were hampered by the lack of information at the meter/customer level. Our system only has information at the distribution, switching, substation and circuit level. When the circuit is restored, we have no way of knowing that a particular customer does not have service unless they report it individually. We know that led to some frustration.
To have customer level information, we need smart grid/intelligence at the meter. We will be looking at proposals for smart grid technology. We have submitted a mitigation proposal to fund a pilot project.
We will continue to explore improved use of web and expand text and social media to improve and increase customer communication options. We will work with municipalities, Office of Emergency Management and the New York State Public Service Commission to further improve crisis communication plans.
Freeport Electric Utility