PLH GROUP NEWS
When Waters Rise, PLH Group Crews Know What To Do
Date: August 24, 2022
A severe storm is anticipated. PLH Group gets the call, and its electric power experts assemble. They immediately mobilize their fleet of response vehicles, specially equipped for storm recovery and restoration. Within hours, crews are stationed in the communities awaiting Mother Nature’s wrath. When the storm subsides, these crews assess damage to electric power lines.
But the experts at PLH Group know that just because the storm has passed, hazards are just beginning to present themselves – including the potential for flash flooding.
A flash flood is caused by excessive rainfall in a short period of time. According to the National Weather Service, flash floods are the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
So how do they happen? Primary factors of a flash flood are intensity and duration of rainfall. However, environmental conditions (such as topography, soil conditions, and ground cover) and structural integrity (such as levee and dam failures or the release of an ice jam) also play an important role in the event of a flash flood.
Flash floods occur anywhere from minutes to hours after the storm begins, especially when repeat storms hit the same area, a structural failure occurs, or a hurricane ravishes land.
Flash floods have the force to move and destroy everything in its path (yes – even buildings, bridges, trees, and boulders), creating a new path for its waters to flow.
Sometimes its devastation can even cause a second threat – mud slides. So what do we do to protect our workers from this potential hazard? We train and educate them.
“Utilities call us when a storm comes – many times even before it hits so we are on standby. They know we are a reliable partner, ready to jump into action. They are also confident that we know how to complete storm restoration work safely. We train our employees on all factors associated with storm response – from electrocution and flood risks to animal threats and gas leaks and everything in between,” said PLH Group’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Vice President Elsie Bentley. “Though our work is the reason we are on scene, we will not proceed with that work unless we know it can be completed safely. That is why we specifically train our employees for restoration and response situations, combatting all potential hazards that may arise.”
This training focuses on how to confidently:
- Prepare – Our work always begins with preparation. We preform hazard assessments and review the plan, considering all hazards that may arise. This includes understanding the potential flood risk. Before responding to the impacted communities, we ensure our vehicles are equipped with emergency response equipment, and we have the tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely perform the work. We review emergency plans, such as how to evacuate the work location if needed.
- Listen and Watch – Our crews are in tune with local authorities, heeding their warnings and directions. They also know how to observe changes in work conditions, such as rising waters or a change in the sound of the water.
- Perform – Unique hazards arise when performing electric power restoration and recovery work after a storm. Our crews know how to mitigate these risks, keeping communities, employees, and equipment out of danger.
- Evacuate – We prioritize safety. When conditions are not safe for work, crews return to a safe area until work can be resumed.
PLH Group teams consist of power line and pipeline experts that span North America. These experts value the communities they serve, as well as their personal and team safety.
They are thoroughly trained on safe work practices and put that training into action every single day. We know it, and our customers know it – which is why they call on us when storms strike.