ATHENS, Ala. — Ahead of the winter weather expected on Thursday, City of Athens workers are watching the power grid and ready to load up sand trucks if needed.
Public Works and Athens Utilities crews have been responding to weather-related issues since Saturday. Most notably, the Greenbrier Substation was damaged and caused 3,500 homes to lose power.
Utility crews continue to work on the Greenbrier Substation’s power transformer that was damaged by a lightning strike either during Saturday’s severe weather or Sunday’s winter storm. The bushings on the transformer were burned to a crisp and pieces were shattered, according to Electric Department Manager Blair Davis.
“Usually it hits the line and the devices direct it away from our equipment,” Davis said. “But lightning is powerful, and a strike to equipment can happen.”
“We’ll also have someone onsite during this weather event, and staff monitoring the system online to watch for any anomalies and to take action to address those,” he said.
Davis said much of the load carried by Greenbrier Substation have been moved to other sources to help keep it stabilized.
If needed, crews are on stand-by to sand city bridges and city streets in critical areas such as Athens-Limestone Hospital.
The City of Athens offers several options to obtain updates on day-to-day news, weather issues and emergencies. Citizens can sign up for text and email alerts here or you can follow the City of Athens on social media.