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Hurricanes and storm response.

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization, Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
  • 255 items added with 92,232 views
  • May 5, 2022

I am working on a simulation exercise this week for a client and so dug deeply into some of the storms of the past.

One sticks out as a real issue, that was 2004's Hurricane Ivan, the father of more tornadoes than any storm on record. With more than 100 tornadoes Ivan had a lot of damage that was not typical of a hurricane with vehicles wrapped around poles and towers, houses (and mobile homes) dropped into substations and other not usual damage.

Tornadoes scare me, having lived through the Palm Sunday tornadoes while visiting family in South West Michigan, we drove through some of the areas most impacted - a Cadillac wrapped around a tree 30 feet in the air (and it wrapped all the way around the tree), the famous paper drinking straw that made a hole through a tree (you could actually see thru the straw), a barn where just the stanchions were left with the cattle in the stanchions and more. One that I will never forget is 2 miles of blacktop rolled like a massive jelly roll.

When you are doing storm recovery you never know what is over the next hill or around the next corner. Drones are useful, but we need far better tools for helping our crews in the field know before they go, what to expect and what to bring with them.

If the weather is going to get more extreme, then they need to be forewarned and forearmed for the situation.

Hopefully we can get better real time tech to help with these events and the crews out in the field.


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Doug Houseman's picture
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