Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative (CVEC) is monitoring the rain moving through its service territory this week and the potential for flooding.
“We may have to disconnect the services in areas where flooding can occur,” said Leland Fuller, CVEC General Manager. “Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Power lines left energized in flooded areas create a deadly hazard.”
The National Weather Service in Birmingham has placed the majority of the CVEC service area in the Severe Risk category for flooding. They are not calling for severe weather Monday and Tuesday but are forecasting up to six inches of rain in many areas. With that in mind Cooperative officials say they will look to disconnect services in flood-prone areas. If they must take this step, they will start disconnecting Tuesday morning. If waters rise faster than expected, they will start even sooner.
This move will affect approximately 800 consumers along Logan Martin Lake, the Coosa River and several creeks that feed into both of those bodies of water.
“Many of the services in these areas are seasonal and are not occupied right now,” Mr. Fuller said. “If you do live full time in an area known to flood, we strongly recommend you have a plan to relocate.”
Individuals living in areas prone to flooding should also be mindful of docks, piers, boathouses, shops and other structures and any electricity going to them. That electricity will have to be shut off, either by flipping a breaker or other means.
To make matters potentially worse, Wednesday’s forecast shows a chance of severe weather. This could complicate an already difficult situation.
“If the weather does turn severe Wednesday, we face potential widespread power outages,” Mr. Fuller said. “The ground will be saturated from days of rain. This will make it easier for the wind to push trees into our power lines. We pray this does not happen.”
Coosa Valley Electric officials urge consumers to remain weather aware. If they see downed power lines or other hazardous conditions, please call 911 to report it.
Coosa Valley Electric, which serves more than 17,000 consumers in Talladega, St. Clair, Shelby, Clay, Etowah and Calhoun counties, is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative. Nationwide, some 1,000 cooperatives provide power to rural America, and more than 700 of those are members of the Touchstone Energy® alliance.