Powering Strong Communities

Public power utilities prepare for Tropical Storm Marco, possible hurricane

Public power utilities across several states were preparing for Tropical Storm Marco to make landfall on Aug. 24 and a second tropical storm that was set to enter the Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday and potentially strengthen into a significant hurricane.

Tropical Storm Marco on Monday, Aug. 24, was “weakening but will track near the northern Gulf Coast into Tuesday, where it will bring locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle,” the Weather Channel reported.

In advance of Marco, the City of Tallahassee, Fla., sent crews to Louisiana to be on hand to help public power utility Lafayette Utilities System (LUS).

LUS noted that Tallahassee was sending four overhead crews ahead of Marco and Laura as part of mutual aid to help LUS “with unprecedented back-to-back storms.”

Through its social media channels, LUS thanked Tallahassee and the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) for the assistance.

LUS also utilized its social media channels to remind customers that they could download the public power utility’s hurricane handbook to prepare for Marco and Laura.

Meanwhile, public power utilities in Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi were also preparing for any impacts from Marco and Laura.

Second tropical storm could become major hurricane

Tropical Storm Laura on Aug. 24 was generating heavy rainfall in Cuba and the Cayman Islands and was set to enter the Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday, the Weather Channel reported.

Over the weekend, the storm caused some impacts to Puerto Rico and scattered outages to the US Virgin Islands. As of Monday morning, there were approximately 20,000 customers out in Puerto Rico, down from a peak of approximately 190,000.

Tropical Storm Laura “could strengthen quickly into a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico with a dangerous threat of storm surge along parts of the Louisiana and Texas coasts, and threats of flooding rain and strong winds extending well inland later in the week,” the Weather Channel said.