August 25, 2017
EL CAMPO, TX – Wharton County Electric Cooperative consumers may experience electric power outages as a result of tornados, high winds, lightning and flash flooding that could be associated with Hurricane Harvey.
Where this storm makes landfall will ultimately determine the extent of damage and hazardous conditions, and of course, the extent of any inconvenience to consumers.
Consumers in the five counties served by Wharton County Electric Cooperative are encouraged to make preparations for extended electric service and/or Internet outages.
In the event of an outage, members should contact our office at 979-543-6271 or 1-800-460-6271.
All calls to WCEC during the storm will be answered locally at our office in El Campo. We ask that members be patient in the event that our staff becomes inundated with calls in the event of widespread outages.
Please be aware that WCEC crews will not work in wind conditions over 40 mph or during lightning storms.
In the event of major damage to our electric system, power restoration will begin after weather conditions are safe and after a damage assessment has been performed. When conditions permit, crews will work from dawn until dusk to repair the system. The need for additional, outside assistance will also be assessed.
If we experience minor damage to the electric system, WCEC crews will work these outages in our normal routine basis.
Rest assured, Wharton County Electric Cooperative will be doing everything in our power to restore electric service as quickly as possible. However, the safety of our crews and our members is our number one priority.
With this in mind, we encourage our members to consider these electrical safety tips during and after the storm.
If used improperly, a back-up generator can make life a lot more dangerous!
If you plan to use a portable backup generator for temporary electric power, follow the manufacturer instructions to protect you and your family. Also, DO NOT connect the generator to the house wiring unless you have had a qualified electrician hook up the standby electrical system--including the installation of a transfer switch to isolate the generator from the electric utility service. Without the transfer switch, the power from the generator will back feed through the transformer and raise the voltage to 7,200 volts, a level that can easily kill any serviceman trying to restore the power down the line. In addition, when the power is restored it may cause an electrical fire and/or destroy the generator.
Downed Power Lines
Assume that any downed power line is "live." If power lines are lying on the ground or dangling near the ground, do not touch the lines. Notify your utility company or local law enforcement authorities as soon as possible that the lines have been damaged, or that the lines are down. Do not attempt to move or repair the power lines. If you can, stay nearby to warn others away from the downed line.
If you're inside a car in contact with a downed line, stay inside! You can safely use a cellular phone, if you have one, to call for help. Never drive across a downed power line. If someone is shocked by contact with a downed line, don't touch the person! Use a dry plastic or wooden object, such as broom handle, to try to separate the victim from the power source. Call 911 for help immediately.
Wiring and Appliances Exposed to Water
If you have appliances or equipment exposed to water, never assume they are safe to use after they have dried. Before you try to use any electrical appliance that has been exposed to water, take it to a qualified service technician. The item may be fine, it may need reconditioning, or it might require replacement.
Phone Lines & Outage Reporting
With a storm of this magnitude, phone lines can get very busy. Rest assured that, if this hurricane affects the area, WCEC will have crews working to restore members' electric service and all phone lines will be manned around the clock. If you cannot get through to us by telephone, we will be posting updates on our website, on our Facebook page and through local radio and newspaper media outlets. We appreciate our members' patience and support during this time.
For more information, please contact Shelly Schulz at 979-543-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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